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Declining diurnal temperature range in the North China Plain related to environmental changes

Xue, Weitao and Guo, Jianping and Zhang, Yong and Zhou, Shunwu and Wang, Yuan and Miao, Yucong and Liu, Lin and Xu, Hui and Li, Jian and Chen, Dandan and Liu, Huan (2019) Declining diurnal temperature range in the North China Plain related to environmental changes. Climate Dynamics, 52 (9-10). pp. 6109-6119. ISSN 0930-7575. doi:10.1007/s00382-018-4505-8.

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The decreases in diurnal temperature range (DTR) observed in most regions are generally linked to the increase in cloud cover. However, declining clouds and rising aerosols observed over the North China Plain (NCP) of China make it elusive to elucidate the underlying mechanisms behind the declining DTR observed in this region. Here, we analyze the changes in DTR characteristics in the NCP based on 54-year surface temperature observations, in combination with collocated environmental variable measurements. Overall, there is a significant declining trend of DTR from 1960 to 2014 at a rate of − 0.12 °C/decade, largely due to a larger increase in minimum temperature during the night. The cloud effect on DTR is further explored by comparing DTR under clear-sky and overcast conditions, which exhibits a distinct annual cycle with a minimum in summer and a maximum in winter. The decreasing rate of DTR under overcast condition is − 0.30 °C/decade, much faster than the rate of − 0.17 °C/decade under clear-sky condition, indicating steady increases in the nighttime warming effect of middle- or high-clouds. Also, the elevated aerosol concentration could contribute to the declining DTR, due to the cooling effect of aerosols. Moreover, the effect induced by sunshine duration and water vapor on DTR cannot be ignored either. All of the aforementioned environmental variables combine to affect the long-term trend of DTR, despite their different roles in modulating DTR. Our findings call for better understanding of the influence of environmental factors on regional climate system at the diurnal timescale.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
Guo, Jianping0000-0001-8530-8976
Wang, Yuan0000-0001-6657-8401
Li, Jian0000-0003-0297-6528
Additional Information:© 2018 Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. Received: 3 May 2018; Accepted: 14 October 2018; First Online: 19 October 2018. This study is supported by the National Key R&D Program of China under Grants 2017YFC1501401 and 2016YFA0602003, the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grants 91544217, 41771399, 91637101, and 41705002, and the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences under Grant 2017Z005. The authors extend sincere gratitude to the Editor and anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments that help improve the manuscript.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Ministry of Science and Technology (China)2017YFC1501401
Ministry of Science and Technology (China)2016YFA0602003
National Natural Science Foundation of China91544217
National Natural Science Foundation of China41771399
National Natural Science Foundation of China91637101
National Natural Science Foundation of China41705002
Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences2017Z005
Issue or Number:9-10
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20181023-095918948
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Xue, W., Guo, J., Zhang, Y. et al. Clim Dyn (2019) 52: 6109.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:90354
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:23 Oct 2018 19:55
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 03:31

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