China surface temperatures driven by natural forces

Long Li, Yong Zha. Satellite-based regional warming hiatus in China and its implication. Science of The Total Environment. Volume 648, 15 January 2019, Pages 1394-1402

The slowdown in global warming since 1998, often termed the global warming hiatus. Reconciling the “hiatus” is a main focus in the 2013 climate change conference. Accurately characterizing the spatiotemporal trends in surface air temperature (SAT) is helps to better understand the “hiatus” during the period. This article presents a satellite-based regional warming simulation to diagnose the “hiatus” for 2001–2015 in China. Results show that the rapid warming is mainly in western and southern China, such as Yunnan (mean ± standard deviation: 0.39 ± 0.26 °C (10 yr)−1), Tibet (0.22 ± 0.25 °C (10 yr)−1), Taiwan (0.21 ± 0.25 °C (10 yr)−1), and Sichuan (0.19 ± 0.25 °C (10 yr)−1). On the contrary, there is a cooling trend by 0.29 ± 0.26 °C (10 yr)−1 in northern China during the recent 15 yr, where a warming rate about 0.38 ± 0.11 °C (10 yr)−1 happened for 1960–2000. Overall, satellite simulation shows that the warming rate is reduced to −0.02 °C (10 yr)−1. The changes in underlying surface Earth’s orbit, solar radiation and atmospheric counter radiation (USEOSRACR) cause China’s temperature rise about 0.02 °C (10 yr)−1. A combination of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and other natural forcing (ONAT, predominately volcanic activity, and atmosphere and ocean circulation) explain another part of temperature trend by approximately −0.04 °C (10 yr)−1. We conclude that there is a regional warming hiatus, a pause or a slowdown in China, and imply that GHGs-induced warming is suppressed by ONAT in the early 21st century.

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