Long-term changes in inland water surface temperature across China based on remote sensing data

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  • 1 State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Aerospace Information Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 20 Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100101, China.
  • 2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China.
  • 3 Department of Geological and Atmospheric sciences, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 50011, USA.
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Abstract

Water surface temperature is a direct indication of climate change. However, it is not clear how have China’s inland waters responded to climate change in the past using a consistent method on a national scale. In this study, we used Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data from 2000 to 2015 to study the temporal and spatial variation characteristics of water surface temperature in China using the wavelet transform method. The results showed the following: (1) the freezing date of China inland water has shown a significant delaying trend during the past 16 years with an average rate of -1.5 d/a; (2) the shift of 0°C isotherm position of surface water across China has clear seasonal changes, which first moved eastward about 25° and northward about 15°, and then gradually moved back after the year 2009; (3) during the past 16 years, 0°C isotherm of China’s surface water has gradually moved north by about 0.09° in the latitude direction and east by about 1° in the longitude direction; (4) the inter-annual variation of water surface temperature in 17 lakes of China showed a similar fluctuation trend that increased before 2010, and then decreased. The El Niño and La Niña around 2010 could have impacts on the turning point of the annual variation of water surface temperature. This study validated the response of China’s inland surface water to global climate change and improved the understanding of the wetland environment’s response to climate change.

Corresponding author: Zhenguo Niu (Tel: 86 - 136 9120 5046; Email: niuzg@radi.ac.cn)

Abstract

Water surface temperature is a direct indication of climate change. However, it is not clear how have China’s inland waters responded to climate change in the past using a consistent method on a national scale. In this study, we used Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data from 2000 to 2015 to study the temporal and spatial variation characteristics of water surface temperature in China using the wavelet transform method. The results showed the following: (1) the freezing date of China inland water has shown a significant delaying trend during the past 16 years with an average rate of -1.5 d/a; (2) the shift of 0°C isotherm position of surface water across China has clear seasonal changes, which first moved eastward about 25° and northward about 15°, and then gradually moved back after the year 2009; (3) during the past 16 years, 0°C isotherm of China’s surface water has gradually moved north by about 0.09° in the latitude direction and east by about 1° in the longitude direction; (4) the inter-annual variation of water surface temperature in 17 lakes of China showed a similar fluctuation trend that increased before 2010, and then decreased. The El Niño and La Niña around 2010 could have impacts on the turning point of the annual variation of water surface temperature. This study validated the response of China’s inland surface water to global climate change and improved the understanding of the wetland environment’s response to climate change.

Corresponding author: Zhenguo Niu (Tel: 86 - 136 9120 5046; Email: niuzg@radi.ac.cn)
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