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Atmosphere 2017, 8(1), 15; doi:10.3390/atmos8010015

Projected Changes in Temperature Extremes in China Using PRECIS

1
Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
2
Zhejiang Meteorological Observatory, Hangzhou 310017, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Christina Anagnostopoulou
Received: 28 November 2016 / Revised: 30 December 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2017 / Published: 17 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Temperature Extremes and Heat/Cold Waves)
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Abstract

Temperature extremes can cause disastrous impacts on ecological and social economic systems. China is very sensitive to climate change, as its warming rate exceeds that of the global mean level. This paper focused on the spatial and temporal changes of the temperature extremes characterized by the 95th percentile of maximum temperature (TX95), the 5th percentile of the minimum temperature (TN5), high-temperature days (HTD) and low-temperature days (LTD). The daily maximum and minimum temperatures generated by PRECIS under different Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) are used in the research. The results show that: (1) Model simulation data can reproduce the spatial distribution features of the maximum temperature (Tmax) and minimum temperature (Tmin) as well as that of the extreme temperature indices; (2) By the end of the 21st century (2070–2099), both the Tmax and Tmin are warmer than the baseline level (1961–1990) in China and the eight sub-regions. However, there are regional differences in the asymmetrical warming features, as the Tmin warms more than the Tmax in the northern part of China and the Tibetan Plateau, while the Tmax warms more than the Tmin in the southern part of China; (3) The frequency of the warm extremes would become more usual, as the HTD characterized by the present-day threshold would increase by 106%, 196% and 346%, under RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, respectively, while the cold extremes characterized by the LTD would become less frequent by the end of the 21st century, decreasing by 75%, 90% and 98% under RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, respectively. The southern and eastern parts of the Tibetan Plateau respond sensitively to changes in both the hot and cold extremes, suggesting its higher likelihood to suffer from climate warming; (4) The intensity of the warm (cold) extremes would increase (decrease) significantly, characterized by the changes in the TX95 (TN5) by the end of the 21st century, and the magnitude of the increase in the TN5 is larger than that of the TX95 in the national mean value. The changes in both the TX95 and TN5 are larger under the higher versus weaker emission scenario, indicating that it is essential to reduce the GHG emissions and take adaptation measures in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: extreme temperature; China; RCM; RCP scenarios; global warming; PRECIS extreme temperature; China; RCM; RCP scenarios; global warming; PRECIS
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Zhang, Y.; Fu, L.; Pan, J.; Xu, Y. Projected Changes in Temperature Extremes in China Using PRECIS. Atmosphere 2017, 8, 15.

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