Urbanization Effects on Observed Surface Air Temperature Trends in North China

Guoyu Ren; Yaqing Zhou; Ziying Chu; Jiangxing Zhou; Aiying Zhang; Jun Guo; Xuefeng Liu
March 2008
Journal of Climate;Mar2008, Vol. 21 Issue 6, p1333
Academic Journal
A dataset of 282 meteorological stations including all of the ordinary and national basic/reference surface stations of north China is used to analyze the urbanization effect on surface air temperature trends. These stations are classified into rural, small city, medium city, large city, and metropolis based on the updated information of total population and specific station locations. The significance of urban warming effects on regional average temperature trends is estimated using monthly mean temperature series of the station group datasets, which undergo inhomogeneity adjustment. The authors found that the largest effect of urbanization on annual mean surface air temperature trends occurs for the large-city station group, with the urban warming being 0.16°C (10 yr)-1, and the effect is the smallest for the small-city station group with urban warming being only 0.07°C (10 yr)-1. A similar assessment is made for the dataset of national basic/reference stations, which has been widely used in regional climate change analyses in China. The results indicate that the regional average annual mean temperature series, as calculated using the data from the national basic/reference stations, is significantly impacted by urban warming, and the trend of urban warming is estimated to be 0.11°C (10 yr)-1. The contribution of urban warming to total annual mean surface air temperature change as estimated with the national basic/reference station dataset reaches 37.9%. It is therefore obvious that, in the current regional average surface air temperature series in north China, or probably in the country as a whole, there still remain large effects from urban warming. The urban warming bias for the regional average temperature anomaly series is corrected. After that, the increasing rate of the regional annual mean temperature is brought down from 0.29°C (10 yr)-1 to 0.18°C (10 yr)-1, and the total change in temperature approaches 0.72°C for the period analyzed.


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