Global diurnal temperature range (DTR) changes since 1901

Abstract

Previous observational analyses show that the land-surface diurnal temperature range (DTR) has decreased in the past 6 decades worldwide. Based on a newly developed China Meteorological Administration–Land Surface Air Temperature (CMA-LSAT) dataset, we analyzed the DTR changes between 1901 and 2014. Results indicate that the global land surface DTR significantly decreased at a rate of − 0.036 °C decade− 1 over the 1901–2014 period, mainly due to the large decrease in DTR from 1951 to 2014. For the first half of the twentieth century, most grid boxes (spatial resolution 5° × 5°) show a positive DTR trend, with the positive trends of 32.4% grid boxes being statistically significant, leading to a large and significant increase of 0.048 °C decade− 1 in DTR. However, a dramatic reversal in DTR change occurred in early 1950s, with most parts of global lands exhibiting a shift from increasing to decreasing trends. The global land average DTR decrease during 1951–2014 was − 0.054 °C decade− 1, with 45.0% grid boxes showing significant negative trends. The reverse phenomenon is more obvious in the Northern Hemisphere than that in the Southern Hemisphere. For the periods 1979–2014 and 1998–2014, the decreasing trends in DTR mainly occur in the Northern Hemisphere. The DTR in the Southern Hemisphere experienced much larger increases during the two recent periods than during the period 1951–2014. Asia, Eastern North America, and Australia exhibited widespread decreases in DTR, although the trend pattern for global DTR is generally mixed during 1979–2014 and 1998–2014. There is a good negative correlation between DTR and precipitation in the Northern Hemisphere from 1901 to 2014, with a correlation coefficient of − 0.61. The change in precipitation and number of volcanic eruptions, and the “early brightening” of Europe (Stockholm) all benefit the increase of DTR at global and regional scales in the first half of the twentieth century.

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Acknowledgements

This study is financed by the National Key R&D Program of China (Fund No: 2018YFA0605603), China Natural Science Foundation (CNSF) (Fund No: 41575003) and the MOST (Fund No: GYHY201206012).

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Correspondence to Guoyu Ren.

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Sun, X., Ren, G., You, Q. et al. Global diurnal temperature range (DTR) changes since 1901. Clim Dyn 52, 3343–3356 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-018-4329-6

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Keywords

  • DTR
  • Trends
  • Maximum temperature
  • Minimum temperature
  • Global lands