Shifting of frozen ground boundary in response to temperature variations at northern China and Mongolia, 2000–2007


Correspondence to: L. Han, PhD, assistant professor at State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China. E-mail:


Little is known about the shifts of frozen ground boundary in response to temperature variations in the East Asia. We therefore examined the relationship between changes of frozen ground boundary and temperature at northern China and Mongolia. Significant relationships were found between the boundaries' shifting and monthly average air temperature in northeast of China and in the northeast of Mongolia, where the higher temperature resulted in the more northward boundary of frozen ground. However, no significant relationship was found in northwest of Mongolia, in west of China, and in the west of Tibetan Plateau. These results indicate that the temperature is not the major factor in driving the boundary of seasonally frozen ground shifting at typical mid-latitude areas in Asia. This research demonstrates seasonally frozen ground dynamic response to climatic change at some mid-latitude areas where seasonally frozen ground boundary shifting would be utilized as an additional factor for tracking climatic change. Copyright © 2013 Royal Meteorological Society