Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2018, Vol. 73 ›› Issue (7): 1283-1295.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201807008

• Climate Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A new definition method of climate-sensitive region and its prediction

LI Yichan(),LI Yu(),ZHU Gengrui   

  1. College of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Center for Hydrologic Cycle and Water Resources in Arid Region, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2017-07-10 Online:2018-07-25 Published:2018-07-13
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41571178;Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.XDA2010 0102;Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, No.lzujbky-2018-k15


The climate-sensitive region is an important direction of climate change research, however most previous studies paid more attention to research on single index, instead of that on comprehensive indicators. Based on the spatial distribution and temporal variation of climate types defined by the K?ppen climate classification, this research presents a new definition method to classify the Chinese climate-sensitive regions, where climate types varied frequently. Here we selected Community Earth System Model (CESM) under the intermediate carbon emission scenario (RCP4.5) to simulate the change of climate types during 2006-2013, the 2040s and the 2090s, and predicted the variation of climate-sensitive regions in the next 30 to 80 years. The results indicate that the climate change sensitive regions were consistent with the precipitation sensitive regions. The most sensitive regions in China are located near the Heihe-Tengchong Line, the Qinling-Huaihe region, the western Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the north of the Tianshan Mountains, while the most stable regions are distributed in the east-central Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the Kunlun Mountains, the north of Qilian Mountains, the south of the Tianshan Mountains, the west of Helan Mountains and the Da Hinggan Mountains region. In the next 30 to 80 years, the climate change sensitive regions in the western part of China (the west of Helan Mountains and Hengduan Mountains) will be stable, while in the eastern they are shifting northward significantly. This study provides a new perspective for the research of climate change sensitivity and regional responses to climate change, and it is conducive to a timely and effective decision-making in tackling climate change.

Key words: climate type, climate change, sensitive region, K?ppen climate classification;, prediction