Changes in the diurnal temperature range over East Asia from 1901 to 2018 and its relationship with precipitation

Abstract

Since the 1950s, the East Asian diurnal temperature range (DTR), defined as the difference between the daily maximum (Tmax) and minimum temperatures (Tmin), has gradually decreased. Precipitation changes have often been cited as a primary cause of the change. However, the East Asian DTR change before 1950 and its relationship with precipitation remain unclear. Here, we used a newly developed China Meteorological Administration-Land Surface Air Temperature dataset v1.1 to examine the climatological patterns and long-term trends of the DTR in East Asia from 1901 to 2018 and its relationship with precipitation. The mean annual DTR averaged over East Asia for 1951–2018 was approximately 10.0 °C. East Asian DTR changes during 1901–2018 show two distinct characteristics. First, the DTR decreased significantly by approximately 0.60 °C during 1901–2018, and the decrease rate in the second half of the twentieth century (by ~0.53 °C) was significantly larger than that over the rest of the Northern Hemisphere and the global land due to rapid urbanization over East Asia. Second, before the 1950s, the DTR in East Asia showed a significant non-linear increase especially in middle latitude areas, mainly due to the warming rate of Tmax is higher than that of Tmin. Additionally, we found that the spatial pattern of long-term DTR change shows a significant negative correlation with mean precipitation patterns except in arid and semi-arid areas during 1901–2018. The decreasing trend of DTR gradually became smaller from arid regions to humid regions during 1901–2018, mainly because the difference between Tmax and Tmin warming rate gradually became smaller.

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Data availability

The global land use/land cover data could be available from the ESA (www.esa-cci.org.) Due to data management policy, need to contact the National Meteorological Information Center of China Meteorological Administration (http://data.cma.cn/en) for the access of temperature and precipitation data.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Panfeng Zhang for his help in classifying urban and rural stations. We thank four anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions.

Funding

This study is supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2019YFA0606701 and 2018YFA0605603), the Natural Science Foundation of China (42005036 and 41731173), the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDB42000000 and XDA20060502), the Key Special Project for Introduced Talents Team of Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Guangzhou) (GML2019ZD0306), Innovation Academy of South China Sea Ecology and Environmental Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISEE2018PY06), and the Leading Talents of Guangdong Province Program.

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Correspondence to Chunzai Wang.

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This article is part of the topical collection on Historical and recent change in extreme climate over East Asia

edited by Guoyu Ren, Danny Harvey, Johnny Chan, Hisayuki Kubota, Zhongshi Zhang, and Jinbao Li.

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Sun, X., Wang, C. & Ren, G. Changes in the diurnal temperature range over East Asia from 1901 to 2018 and its relationship with precipitation. Climatic Change 166, 44 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-021-03120-1

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Keywords

  • DTR
  • Long-term trends
  • Precipitation
  • East Asia