Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2003, Vol. 58 ›› Issue (7s): 108-116.doi: 10.11821/xb20037s013

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The Desertification over North China through Comparing the Long-time Variation of Air Temperature and 0 cm Soil Temperature

Ailikun, GUO Weidong   

  1. Chinese Academy of Sciences Key Laboratory of Regional Climate-Environment Research for Temperate East Asia, START Regional Center for East Asia, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, CAS, Beijing 100029, China
  • Received:2003-03-01 Revised:2003-07-05 Online:2003-12-25 Published:2003-12-25
  • Supported by:

    China NKBRSF Project G1999043400; Knowledge Innovation Project, CAS, No.KZCX3-SW-218


In this research, a new type of desertification index is built by using the anomalies of differences between the air temperature (Ta) and the 0cm soil temperature (Ts) over northern part (35oN north, 100oE east) of China. Depending on the data from 1956 to 2000, the most serious desertification happens over the eastern part of Northwest China (35o~45oN, 100o~110oE) in both spring and summer, which began from the 1970s, and became much remarkable from the 1980s. A tendency of desertification is also found over Northeast China (45o~52oN, 120o~135oE) from the 1990s. Although the precipitation over central North China (35o~45oN, 110o~120oE) decreased notably from 1956 to 2000, we have not found the tendency of desertification over this area. The desertification indices (Ta-Ts) over the above three areas are correlated to the precipitation very well, which indicates the key roles of precipitation to the desertification index. The high correlations between Ta-Ts and NDVI in summer of eastern part of Northwest China and both spring and summer of central North China show the feasibility of the desertification index used in this research.

Key words: air temperature, soil temperature, desertification, climate change, North China