Climate Change Research ›› 2013, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (1): 15-20.doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1673-1719.2013.01.003

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Spatiotemporal Change Characteristics of Summer Heatwaves in China in 1961-2010


  • Received:2012-09-06 Revised:2012-12-04 Online:2013-01-31 Published:2013-01-31
  • Contact: Ye Dianxiu

Abstract: This study conducted a statistical analysis on the temporal and spatial distribution characteristics of the frequency, days and intensity of heatwaves in China in 1961-2010 based on the summer daily maximum temperature data of 753 stations over China and the heatwave indicators developed based on the significant increase in mortality. The results show that the high frequency, days and intensity of heatwaves occurred in the Jianghuai region, most of the Jiangnan region, as well as eastern Sichuan Basin, with the highest frequency in northern Jiangxi and northern Zhejiang, the largest days in northern Jiangxi and northern Zhejiang, and the highest intensity in northern Zhejiang. The frequency, days and intensity of heatwaves have temporally showed an overall increasing trend in the past 50 years, with a strong stage variation characteristic: the frequency (intensity) of summer heatwaves displayed a decreasing (weakening) trend from the 1960s to the early 1980s, followed by an increasing (strengthening) trend from the late 1980s up to now. The regional heatwave change characteristics were also distinctive, with a significant strengthening (increasing) trend in the northern and western parts of North China, central-northern part of Northwest China, the central part of South China, the Yangtze River Delta and the southern Sichuan Basin, but a remarkable decreasing trend in the local areas of the southern Huanghuai region, the northern Jianghuai region and the Hanjiang River basin. Since the 1990s, the frequency, days and intensity of heatwaves in China have significantly increased and strengthened, and its spatial range has also expanded.

Key words: heatwave, frequency, intensity, change characteristics

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