Trend of surface air temperature in eastern China and associated large-scale climate variability over the last 100 years

Ping Zhao, Philip Jones, Lijuan Cao, Zhongwei Yan, Shuyao Zha, Yani Zhu, Yu Yu, Guoli Tang

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67 Citations (Scopus)


Using the reconstructed continuous and homogenized surface air temperature (SAT) series for 16 cities across eastern China (where the greatest industrial developments in China have taken place) back to the nineteenth century, the authors examine linear trends of SAT. The regional-mean SAT over eastern China shows a warming trend of 1.52°C (100 yr)−1 during 1909–2010. It mainly occurred in the past 4 decades and this agrees well with the variability in another SAT series developed from a much denser station network (over 400 sites) across this part of China since 1951. This study collects population data for 245 sites (from these 400+ locations) and split these into five equally sized groups based on population size. Comparison of these five groups across different durations from 30 to 60 yr in length indicates that differences in population only account for between 9% and 24% of the warming since 1951. To show that a larger urbanization impact is very unlikely, the study additionally determines how much can be explained by some large-scale climate indices. Anomalies of large-scale climate indices such as the tropical Indian Ocean SST and the Siberian atmospheric circulation systems account for at least 80% of the total warming trends.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4693-4703
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014


  • Anthropogenic effects
  • Climate variability
  • Surface temperature
  • Annual variations
  • Trends

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