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Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

A comparison of tropospheric temperature changes over China revealed by multiple data sets

Authors

  • Lixia Zhang,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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  • Tianjun Zhou

    1. State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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Corresponding author: T. Zhou, State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China. (zhoutj@lasg.iap.ac.cn)

Abstract

[1] Based on four radiosonde data sets and three reanalysis data sets, the long-term tropospheric temperature changes over China for the period 1958–2001, and the uncertainties are analyzed. The results from all data sets, except for HadAT2 and National Centers for Environmental Protection 20th Century Reanalysis data (NCEP-20CR), show a significant warming trend in the lower troposphere temperature averaged over China during 1958–2001, but this trend decreases with height and is replaced by a cooling tendency at 500 hPa, reaching maximum cooling at 300 hPa. The year-by-year changes of temperature over China are largely in agreement among the radiosonde and the reanalysis data sets. The uncertainties of upper troposphere temperature changes are larger compared with those of the lower troposphere. The uncertainty was relatively small during 1970–1990 and large during 1958–1970 and from 1990 to the present. The trend uncertainty is large in the Northwest for the lower troposphere and in south China for the upper troposphere, with the largest trend uncertainty over Northwest China at 850 hPa and east to 100°E at 300 hPa. For the average temperature trend over China, the largest uncertainty peaks at 300 hPa for 1958–2001. The tropospheric temperature of China at 300 hPa, derived from HadAT2, warms up; this differs greatly from the other data sets. The warming trend is produced mainly by the stations over south China and is due to the choice of neighbor stations during construction. The temperature trend at 300 hPa in NCEP-National Center for Atmospheric Research is cooler than the other data sets due to its abrupt cooling around the early 1990s. NCEP-20CR can partly capture the cooling tendency at 300 hPa over North China but with weaker magnitude.

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