Air temperature fluctuation complexity (TFC) describes the uncertainty of temperature changes. The analysis of its spatial and temporal variation is of great significance to evaluate prediction uncertainty of the regional temperature trends and the climate change. In this study, annual-TFC from 1979–2017 and seasonal-TFC from 1983–2017 in China were calculated by permutation entropy (PE). Their temporal trend is described by the Mann-Kendall method. Driving factors of their spatial variations are explored through GeoDetector. The results show that: (1). TFC shows a downward trend generally, with obvious time variation. (2). The spatial variation of TFC is mainly manifested in the differences among the five sub-regions in China. There is low uncertainty in the short-term temperature trends in the northwest and southeast. The northeastern and southwestern regions show high uncertainties. TFC in the central region is moderate. (3). The vegetation is the main factor of spatial variation, followed by the climate and altitude, and the latitude and terrain display the lowest impact. The interactions of vegetation-altitude, vegetation-climate and altitude-latitude can interpret more than 50% of the spatial variations. These results provide insights into causes and mechanisms of the complexity of the climate system. They can help to determine the influencing process of various factors.
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