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Journal of Arid Land  2018, Vol. 10 Issue (2): 264-276    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-018-0001-6
Orginal Article     
Variations of the thermal growing season during the period 1961-2015 in northern China
Linli CUI1,2,*(), Jun SHI2,3, Yue MA3, Xiaochen LIU2,3
1 Shanghai Institute of Meteorological Science, Shanghai Meteorological Bureau, Shanghai 200030, China
2 Shanghai Key Laboratory of Meteorology and Health, Shanghai 200030, China
3 Shanghai Climate Center, Shanghai Meteorological Bureau, Shanghai 200030, China
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Researching into changes in thermal growing season has been one of the most important scientific issues in studies of the impact of global climate change on terrestrial ecosystems. However, few studies investigated the differences under various definitions of thermal growing season and compared the trends of thermal growing season in different parts of China. Based on the daily mean air temperatures collected from 877 meteorological stations over northern China from 1961 to 2015, we investigated the variations of the thermal growing season parameters including the onset, ending and duration of the growing season using the methods of differential analysis, trend analysis, comparative analysis, and Kriging interpolation technique. Results indicate that the differences of the maximum values of those indices for the thermal growing season were significant, while they were insignificant for the mean values. For indices with the same length of the spells exceeding 5°C, frost criterion had a significant effect on the differences of the maximum values. The differences of the mean values between frost and non-frost indices were also slight, even smaller than those from the different lengths of the spells. Temporally, the starting date of the thermal growing season advanced by 10.0-11.0 days, while the ending dates delayed by 5.0-6.0 days during the period 1961-2015. Consequently, the duration of the thermal growing season was prolonged 15.0-16.0 days. Spatially, the advanced onset of the thermal growing season occurred in the southwestern, eastern, and northeastern parts of northern China, whereas the delayed ending of the thermal growing season appeared in the western part, and the length of the thermal growing season was prolonged significantly in the vast majority of northern China. The trend values of the thermal growing season were affected by altitude. The magnitude of the earlier onset of the thermal growing season decreased, and that of the later ending increased rapidly as the altitude increased, causing the magnitude of the prolonged growing season increased correspondingly. Comparing the applicability of selected indices and considering the impacts of frost on the definitions are important and necessary for determining the timing and length of the thermal growing season in northern China.

Key wordsdaily mean air temperatures      length of the growing season      starting date of the thermal growing season      ending date of the thermal growing season      trend      northern China     
Received: 20 February 2017      Published: 10 April 2018
Corresponding Authors: Linli CUI     E-mail:
About author:

The first and fourth authors contributed equally to this work.

Cite this article:

Linli CUI, Jun SHI, Yue MA, Xiaochen LIU. Variations of the thermal growing season during the period 1961-2015 in northern China. Journal of Arid Land, 2018, 10(2): 264-276.

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