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Professor Li Qingxiang from the School of Atmospheric Sciences and collaborators put forward the basic theory and methodology of “Continental scale climate change observation studies”

Last updated :2019-12-14

Source: School of Atmospheric Sciences
Written by: School of Atmospheric Sciences
Edited by: Wang Dongmei

Since the beginning of this century, “global warming” seems to become the most striking climatic label. A series of news like “Growth of greenhouse gas emissions is three times faster than expected” , "2007 is the warmest year” and “The global surface temperature broke through the extreme value for three times from 2014 to 2016”, are overwhelming. Scientists even simulated that the possible situation and the catastrophic consequences when the earth has been heated up of 1~6℃. The earth is feverish! However, it is a very complicated systemic project on how to accurately quantify the warming, especially in the key areas. The significant different results have been obtained by many domestic or abroad teams over the past period, which also illustrated the complexity of this problem.

Recently, Professor Li Qingxiang from the School of Atmospheric Sciences of Sun Yat-sen University and collaborators published the paper: “Continental scale surface air temperature variations: Experience derived from the Chinese region”. The authors comprehensively analyzed the uncertainties from the existing studies. Those uncertainties are caused by the factors such as early data shortages and observation sampling biases, homogeneity of climate series, and the urbanization impact on temperature changes.

The basic theory and methodology of “Continental scale climate change observation studies”
 
After systematic assessment of the above biases, the authors analyzed the more reliable baseline data with “robust” methods and drew the following conclusions: the average regional warming in China since the 20th century has reached about 1.5℃, nearly 50% higher than that over the globe (about 1.0℃) over the same period. The ranking of annual temperatures shows that the warmest 26 years in China appeared in the last 30 years during the instrumental age. This latest results agree well with the CMIP5 ensemble simulation results. Based on the practical experience of Chinese region, the authors systematically established the basic theory and methodology of “Continental scale climate change observation studies” and provided references for scientific understanding of the climate warming trends in key region.

The paper has been published in Earth-Science Reviews, a well-known review journal in the field of Geosciences. Professor Li Qingxiang is the first author of the paper, and Professor Phil Jones from the Climate Research Centre of the University of East Angels is the corresponding author. This study has been funded by the National Natural Science Foundation and the National Key R&D Program of China.

Link to the paper: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012825218304112