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Trends in temperature extremes in association with weather-intraseasonal fluctuations in eastern China

Abstract

Trends in the frequencies of four temperature extremes (the occurrence of warm days, cold days, warm nights and cold nights) with respect to a modulated annual cycle (MAC), and those associated exclusively with weather-intraseasonal fluctuations (WIF) in eastern China were investigated based on an updated homogenized daily maximum and minimum temperature dataset for 1960–2008. The Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition (EEMD) method was used to isolate the WIF, MAC, and longer-term components from the temperature series. The annual, winter and summer occurrences of warm (cold) nights were found to have increased (decreased) significantly almost everywhere, while those of warm (cold) days have increased (decreased) in northern China (north of 40°N). However, the four temperature extremes associated exclusively with WIF for winter have decreased almost everywhere, while those for summer have decreased in the north but increased in the south. These characteristics agree with changes in the amplitude of WIF. In particular, winter WIF of maximum temperature tended to weaken almost everywhere, especially in eastern coastal areas (by 10%–20%); summer WIF tended to intensify in southern China by 10%–20%. It is notable that in northern China, the occurrence of warm days has increased, even where that associated with WIF has decreased significantly. This suggests that the recent increasing frequency of warm extremes is due to a considerable rise in the mean temperature level, which surpasses the effect of the weakening weather fluctuations in northern China.

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Correspondence to Zhongwei Yan.

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Qian, C., Yan, Z., Wu, Z. et al. Trends in temperature extremes in association with weather-intraseasonal fluctuations in eastern China. Adv. Atmos. Sci. 28, 297–309 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00376-010-9242-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00376-010-9242-9

Key words

  • climate extremes
  • EEMD
  • weather-intraseasonal fluctuations
  • modulated annual cycle
  • global warming