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Guoyu Ren, Yaqing Zhou, Ziying Chu, Jiangxing Zhou, Aiying Zhang, Jun Guo, and Xuefeng Liu

Abstract

A dataset of 282 meteorological stations including all of the ordinary and national basic/reference surface stations of north China is used to analyze the urbanization effect on surface air temperature trends. These stations are classified into rural, small city, medium city, large city, and metropolis based on the updated information of total population and specific station locations. The significance of urban warming effects on regional average temperature trends is estimated using monthly mean temperature series of the station group datasets, which undergo inhomogeneity adjustment. The authors found that the largest effect of urbanization on annual mean surface air temperature trends occurs for the large-city station group, with the urban warming being 0.16°C (10 yr)−1, and the effect is the smallest for the small-city station group with urban warming being only 0.07°C (10 yr)−1. A similar assessment is made for the dataset of national basic/reference stations, which has been widely used in regional climate change analyses in China. The results indicate that the regional average annual mean temperature series, as calculated using the data from the national basic/reference stations, is significantly impacted by urban warming, and the trend of urban warming is estimated to be 0.11°C (10 yr)−1. The contribution of urban warming to total annual mean surface air temperature change as estimated with the national basic/reference station dataset reaches 37.9%. It is therefore obvious that, in the current regional average surface air temperature series in north China, or probably in the country as a whole, there still remain large effects from urban warming. The urban warming bias for the regional average temperature anomaly series is corrected. After that, the increasing rate of the regional annual mean temperature is brought down from 0.29°C (10 yr)−1 to 0.18°C (10 yr)−1, and the total change in temperature approaches 0.72°C for the period analyzed.

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Guoyu Ren, Hongbin Liu, Ziying Chu, Li Zhang, Xiang Li, Weijing Li, Yu Chen, Ge Gao, and Yan Zhang
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Guoyu Ren, Hongbin Liu, Ziying Chu, Li Zhang, Xiang Li, Weijing Li, Yu Chen, Ge Gao, and Yan Zhang

Abstract

Middle and eastern routes of the South–North Water Diversion Project (SNWDP) of China, which are approximately located within the area 28°–42°N and 110°–122°E, are being constructed. This paper investigates the past climatic variations on various time scales using instrumental and proxy data. It is found that annual mean surface air temperature has increased significantly during the past 50–100 years, and winter and spring temperatures in the northern part of the region have undergone the most significant changes. A much more significant increase occurs for annual mean minimum temperature and extreme low temperature than for annual mean maximum temperature and extreme high temperature. No significant trend in annual precipitation is found for the region as a whole for the last 50 and 100 years, although obvious decadal and spatial variation is detectable. A seesaw pattern of annual and summer precipitation variability between the north and the south of the region is evident. Over the last 100 years, the Haihe River basin has witnessed a significant negative trend of annual precipitation, but no similar trend is detected for the Yangtze and Huaihe River basins. Pan evaporation has significantly decreased since the mid-1960s in the region in spite of the fact that the trend appears to have ended in the early 1990s. The negative trend of pan evaporation is very significant in the plain area between the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers. There was a notable series of dry intervals lasting decades in the north of the region. The northern drought of the past 30 years is not the most severe in view of the past 500 years; however, the southern drought during the period from the 1960s to the 1980s may have been unprecedented. The dryness–wetness index (DWI) shows significant oscillations with periodicities of 9.5 and 20 years in the south and 10.5 and 25 years in the north. Longer periodicities in the DWI series include 160–170- and 70–80-yr oscillations in the north, and 100–150-yr oscillations in the south. The observed climate change could have implications for the construction and management of the SNWDP. The official approval and start of the hydro project was catalyzed by the severe multiyear drought of 1997–2003 in the north, and the operation and management of the project in the future will also be influenced by climate change—in particular by precipitation variability. This paper provides a preliminary discussion of the potential implications of observed climate change for the SNWDP.

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Guoyu Ren, Jiao Li, Yuyu Ren, Ziying Chu, Aiying Zhang, Yaqing Zhou, Lei Zhang, Yuan Zhang, and Tao Bian

Abstract

Trends in surface air temperature (SAT) are a critical indicator for climate change at varied spatial scales. Because of urbanization effects, however, the current SAT records of many urban stations can hardly meet the demands of the studies. Evaluation and adjustment of the urbanization effects on the SAT trends are needed, which requires an objective selection of reference (rural) stations. Based on the station history information from all meteorological stations with long-term records in mainland China, an integrated procedure for determining the reference SAT stations has been developed and is applied in forming a network of reference SAT stations. Historical data from the network are used to assess the urbanization effects on the long-term SAT trends of the stations of the national Reference Climate Network and Basic Meteorological Network (RCN+BMN or national stations), which had been used most frequently in studies of regional climate change throughout the country. This paper describes in detail the integrated procedure and the assessment results of urbanization effects on the SAT trends of the national stations applying the data from the reference station network determined using the procedure. The results showed a highly significant urbanization effect of 0.074°C (10 yr)−1 and urbanization contribution of 24.9% for the national stations of mainland China during the time period 1961–2004, which compared well to results that were reported in previous studies by the authors using the predecessor of the present reference network and the reference stations selected but when applying other methods. The authors are thus confident that the SAT data from the updated China reference station network as reported in this paper best represented the baseline SAT trends nationwide and could be used for evaluating and adjusting the urban biases in the historical data series of the SAT from different observational networks.

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