Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2018, Vol. 73 ›› Issue (9): 1748-1764.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201809011

• Climate Change and Ecological Environment • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Changes in air temperature of China in response to global warming hiatus

DU Qinqin(),ZHANG Mingjun(),WANG Shengjie,CHE Cunwei,QIU Xue,MA Zhuanzhuan   

  1. College of Geography and Environmental Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
  • Received:2018-02-01 Online:2018-09-25 Published:2018-09-19
  • Supported by:
    National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program), No.2013 CBA01801;Promotion Project for Young Teachers in Northwest Normal University, No.NWNU-LKQN-15-8


The global warming hiatus during 1998-2012 has aroused a great public interest in past several years. Based on the air temperature at 622 meteorological stations in China, the response of temperature to global warming hiatus was analyzed on national and regional scales. The main results were as follows: (1) The trend magnitude of air temperature in China was -0.221 ℃/10 a during 1998-2012, which was lower than the long-term trend during 1960-1998 by 0.427 ℃/10 a. There was a warming hiatus in China that was more obvious than the global mean. Winter played a dominant role (contribution rate was 74.13%) in the nationwide warming hiatus, and the contribution of summer was the least among the four seasons. (2) The warming hiatus was spatial incoherent in different climate backgrounds in China. Among the three natural zones in China (the monsoon region of eastern China, the arid region of northwestern China and the high frigid region of Tibetan Plateau), there was a significant cooling in the eastern and northwestern China, especially the eastern China with a contribution rate of 53.79%. In the eastern China, the trend magnitudes were 0.896 ℃/10 a in winter and 0.134 ℃/10 a in summer, respectively. In the Tibetan Plateau, the air temperature has increased by 0.204 ℃/10 a without significant warming hiatus. (3) The warming hiatus in China may be associated with the negative phase of PDO as well as the reduction of sunspot numbers and total solar radiation. (4) Although warming hiatus occurred in China during 1998-2012, the air temperature has rapidly increased after 2012 and is likely to be continuously warming in the next few years.

Key words: global warming hiatus, China, three natural zones, temperature