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Long-Term Free-Atmosphere Temperature Trends in China Derived from Homogenized In Situ Radiosonde Temperature Series

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  • 1 National Climate Center, and Laboratory for Climate Studies, China Meteorological Administration, and Institute of Atmospheric Physics, and Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • | 2 National Climate Center, and Laboratory for Climate Studies, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing, China
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Abstract

In this paper, radiosonde temperature time series (RTT) from 1958 to 2005 collected by the 116-station Chinese radiosonde network are examined. Quality control and homogenization are used to obtain a reliable RTT. The homogenization results revealed significant discontinuities in the RTT. Analysis suggested that 70% data availability is the minimum data requirement (MDR) for these RTTs. A new dataset is built by meeting this MDR, which reduced the number of potential stations from 116 to 92. Analysis on this dataset reveals that warming trends in the troposphere and cooling trends in the stratosphere were weakened by reducing the stations. Averaged RTT trends for China were generally consistent with those of global scale, but with some discrepancies. During 1958–2005, averaged temperatures in China tended to decrease in the lower stratosphere and upper troposphere, in contrast to warming trends in the mid- and lower troposphere. The trends varied with two different subperiods. For 1958–78, cooling trends in the entire atmosphere were similar to trends at the global scale. For 1979–2005, warming occurred in the lower troposphere, with the amplitude of the warming tending to weaken with increases in altitude and shifting to a cooling trend above 400 hPa. Seasonal trend structures suggest that warming in the lower troposphere is attributable to temperature increases in December–February (DJF); cooling in the upper troposphere and stratosphere was found mainly in June–August (JJA). Unlike with results of a larger spatial scale, a robust cooling layer was found around 300 hPa.

Corresponding author address: Yanjun Guo, National Climate Center, China Meteorological Administration, Zhong-Guan-Cun-Nan-Da-Jie, Hai Dian, Beijing 100081, China. Email: gyj@cma.gov.cn

Abstract

In this paper, radiosonde temperature time series (RTT) from 1958 to 2005 collected by the 116-station Chinese radiosonde network are examined. Quality control and homogenization are used to obtain a reliable RTT. The homogenization results revealed significant discontinuities in the RTT. Analysis suggested that 70% data availability is the minimum data requirement (MDR) for these RTTs. A new dataset is built by meeting this MDR, which reduced the number of potential stations from 116 to 92. Analysis on this dataset reveals that warming trends in the troposphere and cooling trends in the stratosphere were weakened by reducing the stations. Averaged RTT trends for China were generally consistent with those of global scale, but with some discrepancies. During 1958–2005, averaged temperatures in China tended to decrease in the lower stratosphere and upper troposphere, in contrast to warming trends in the mid- and lower troposphere. The trends varied with two different subperiods. For 1958–78, cooling trends in the entire atmosphere were similar to trends at the global scale. For 1979–2005, warming occurred in the lower troposphere, with the amplitude of the warming tending to weaken with increases in altitude and shifting to a cooling trend above 400 hPa. Seasonal trend structures suggest that warming in the lower troposphere is attributable to temperature increases in December–February (DJF); cooling in the upper troposphere and stratosphere was found mainly in June–August (JJA). Unlike with results of a larger spatial scale, a robust cooling layer was found around 300 hPa.

Corresponding author address: Yanjun Guo, National Climate Center, China Meteorological Administration, Zhong-Guan-Cun-Nan-Da-Jie, Hai Dian, Beijing 100081, China. Email: gyj@cma.gov.cn

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