GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2009, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (6): 1593-1605.doi: 10.11821/yj2009060015

• Climate and Global Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatio-temporal patterns of climatic change in China in recent 30 years

LI Shuang, WANG Yang, LI Shuang-cheng   

  1. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2009-03-16 Revised:2009-08-15 Online:2009-11-25 Published:2009-11-25
  • Supported by:

    科技部创新方法工作资助(Innovation Method Fund of China):地理学方法研究(2007FY140800-1);国家自然科学基金项目(40771001)


Based on daily temperature and precipitation data of 603 meteorological stations from 1971 to 2000, the spatio-temporal patterns of climatic change in China were analyzed using ArcGIS and Self-organizing Feature Map (SOFM) neural network model. The results show that the overall trend of climatic change in China from 1971 to 2000 was warming, and characterized by warmer and wetter in most areas except for the Sichuan basin, a small part of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau and the northeast of the Tibetan Plateau. Similar to the annual trends, seasonal patterns of climatic change also exhibited warmer and wetter variation except for autumn. In autumn, the climatic change could be warmer and drier. Besides, it was hard to identify the areas that turned colder in autumn. No area was found to turn colder and drier in winter. The climatic change in China in recent 30 years showed there were significant interdecadal differences. The general trend of climatic change was dominated by temperature decrease from 1971 to 1980, while from 1981 to 2000, it reversed. The area that turned wetter during the period of 1981~1990 tended to be drier in the following 10 years. To compare with the results using Kriging Interpolation, we divided the meteorological stations into four types using SOFM. Based on the One-Way ANOVA test and statistical analysis of the properties, the clustering result of climatic change using SOFM was identified in four types: small warming rate with negative precipitation rate, dramatic warming rate with stable precipitation, small warming and precipitation rate, as well as dramatic warming and precipitation rate. There were two distribution areas of the first type. One included the North China Plain, the Loess Plateau and the Sichuan Basin, and the other concentrated in southern China. The second type consisted of Jilin and Liaoning provinces, the central part of Inner Mongolia, the Loess Plateau, the northeast of the Tibetan Plateau, some parts of Xinjiang and most parts of southern China. The third type was distributed in the northern part of Northeast China, the southeast of the Tibetan Plateau, most parts of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau and the north of Xinjiang. The fourth type was the most concentrated one and it had the least stations as well. It was located in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River plain and Central China.

Key words: climatic change, self-organizing feature map, spatio-temporal patterns, China