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Characteristics of Climate Change in Northern Xinjiang in 1961–2017, China

Abstract

Xinjiang is located in the core China’s ‘Belt and Road’ development, and northern Xinjiang is an important region for economic development. In recent years, due to the strong influence of global climate change and human disturbance, regional climate instability and ecological-economic-social system sensitivity have grown. In this paper, seasonal, interannual, interdecadal, spatial, abrupt, and periodic variations of temperature and precipitation in northern Xinjiang were analyzed using daily surface air temperature and precipitation data from 49 meteorological stations during 1961–2017. At the same time, the driving factors of climate change are discussed. Methods included linear regression, cumulative anomaly, the Mann-Kendall test, and Morlet wavelet analysis. The results indicated that during the study period, annual mean temperature and annual precipitation increased significantly at rates of 0.35°C/10 yr and 13.25 mm/10 yr, respectively, with abrupt changes occurring in 1994 and 1986. Annual mean temperature and annual precipitation in all four seasons showed increasing trends, with the maximum increases in winter of 0.42°C/10 yr and 3.95 mm/10 yr, respectively. The general climate in northern Xinjiang showed a trend towards increasingly warm and humid. In terms of spatial distribution, the temperature and precipitation in high mountainous areas increased the most, while basins areas increased only slightly. Periodic change analysis showed that annual mean temperature and annual precipitation experienced two climatic shifts from cold to warm and dry to wet, respectively. Population change, economic development and land use change are important factors affecting climate change, and more research should be done in this field.

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Correspondence to Yu Sheng.

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Foundation item: Under the auspices of the National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2017YFC0405101), National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 91647103)

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He, B., Sheng, Y., Cao, W. et al. Characteristics of Climate Change in Northern Xinjiang in 1961–2017, China. Chin. Geogr. Sci. 30, 249–265 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11769-020-1104-5

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Keywords

  • northern Xinjiang
  • climate change
  • driving factors
  • temperature
  • precipitation