Homogenization of Chinese daily surface air temperatures and analysis of trends in the extreme temperature indices

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Abstract

[1] This study first homogenizes time series of daily maximum and minimum temperatures recorded at 825 stations in China over the period from 1951 to 2010, using both metadata and the penalized maximum t test with the first-order autocorrelation being accounted for to detect change points and using the quantile-matching algorithm to adjust the data time series to diminish discontinuities. Station relocation was found to be the main cause for discontinuities, followed by station automation. The effects of discontinuities on estimation of long-term trends in the annual mean and extreme indices of temperature are illustrated. The data homogenization is shown to have improved the spatial consistency of estimated trends. Using the homogenized daily minimum and daily maximum temperature data, this study also analyzes trends in extreme temperature indices. The results show that the vast majority (85%–90%) of the 825 sites have experienced significantly more warm nights and less cold nights since 1951. There have also been more warm days and less cold days since 1951, although these trends are less extensive. About 62% of the 825 sites were found to have experienced significantly more warm days and about 50% significantly less cold days. None of the 825 sites were found to have significantly more cold nights/days or less warm nights/days. These indicate that the warming is stronger in nighttime than in daytime and stronger in winter than in summer. Thus, the diurnal temperature range was found to have significantly decreased at 49% of the 825 sites, with significant increases being identified only at 3% of these sites.

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