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Zhang L.,Harbin Normal University | Jiang L.,Harbin Normal University | Zhang X.,CAS Beijing Institute of Geographic Sciences and Nature Resources Research | Zhang X.,Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Climate Change
Journal of Geographical Sciences | Year: 2015

It is necessary to reconstruct past changes in land use and land cover to understand the historical effects of humans on climate and the local environment. We collected information from historical documents on the cropland area at the county level for Heilongjiang Province, northeast China during 1900–1910. The original records from different historical documents were calibrated with each other. We then defined an agricultural suitability index quantified by the distance from settlements, the slope and complexity of the topography, and the distance from rivers. Following the order of the agricultural suitability index from high to low values, the documented areas of cropland at the county level were then allocated into 1 km × 1 km cells. The area of cropland in 2009 was then retrieved from Landsat ETM+ images and compared with the areas of cropland during 1900–1910 to determine the human-induced changes in land use and land cover. In this period, the total area of cropland was about 25,397 km2 and this mainly occurred in the mid-southern part of Heilongjiang, in particular the six counties of Hailun, Bayan, Wuchang, Hulan, Shuangcheng and Wangkui. In 2009, the total area of cropland had increased to about 163,808 km2 and had spread over the southwestern part to the central and northeastern parts of Heilongjiang. The area of cropland had therefore increased by about 138,411 km2 during the 20th century. The proportion of land used as cropland increased from about 5.6% during 1900–1910 to about 36.2% in 2009, indicating that about 30.6% of the natural land surface in Heilongjiang was replaced by cropland. A total of about 44% (60,962 km2) of the cropland was converted from forest, mainly on the western edge and in the northeastern part of the present-day agricultural area. These areas of cropland reconstructed from historical records for the period 1900–1910 could be used as a basic data set to study the effects of agricultural development on climate and the local environment. © 2015, Science in China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Zhang H.,Sun Yat Sen University | Wen Z.,Sun Yat Sen University | Wen Z.,Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Climate Change | Wu R.,CAS Institute of Atmospheric Physics | And 2 more authors.
Climate Dynamics | Year: 2016

Previous studies have revealed inter-decadal changes in the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) that occurred around the late 1970s and early 1990s, respectively. The present study compares characteristics of these two changes and analyzes plausible influences of the South Indian Ocean (SIO) sea surface temperature (SST) change. The two changes share pronounced common features, characterized by an equivalent barotropic circulation anomaly over northern East Asia and a meridional vertical overturning circulation over the tropical region. Meanwhile, they display some distinct characteristics, especially over the tropics. The circumfluent anomalies are more robust for the first change than for the second one. Related amplitude asymmetry is partly attributed to a weakening trend in the EASM. Moreover, SST change in the SIO, featuring a decadal warming since the 1980s and a cooling after 1993, may contribute to both of these inter-decadal changes. Cold SST anomaly induces anomalous mid-tropospheric descent over the western SIO and ascent extending from the eastern SIO to western Australia and over the equatorial Indian Ocean. The accompanying upper-tropospheric divergent flows from western Australia and equatorial Indian Ocean to the Philippines lead to anomalous descent and an anomalous lower-tropospheric anticyclone over the South China Sea–Philippines. Warm SST anomaly induces opposite changes in above regions. The possible influence of SST anomaly in the SIO is further confirmed by numerical experiments. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg Source

Zou X.,National Climate Center | Ren F.,Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences | Ren F.,Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Climate Change
Advances in Atmospheric Sciences | Year: 2015

A new technique for identifying regional climate events, the Objective Identification Technique for Regional Extreme Events (OITREE), was applied to investigate the characteristics of regional heavy rainfall events in China during the period 1961–2012. In total, 373 regional heavy rainfall events (RHREs) were identified during the past 52 years. The East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) had an important influence on the annual variations of China’s RHRE activities, with a significant relationship between the intensity of the RHREs and the intensity of the Mei-yu. Although the increase in the frequency of those RHREs was not significant, China experienced more severe and extreme regional rainfall events in the 1990s. The middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and the northern part of South China were the regions in the country most susceptible to extreme precipitation events. Some stations showed significant increasing trends in the southern part of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and the northern part of South China, while parts of North China, regions between Guangxi and Guangdong, and northern Sichuan showed decreasing trends in the accumulated intensity of RHREs. The spatial distribution of the linear trends of events’ accumulated intensity displayed a similar so-called “southern flooding and northern drought” pattern over eastern China in recent decades. © 2015, Chinese National Committee for International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Science Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Zhang N.,Nanjing University | Zhang N.,Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Climate Change | Gao Z.,CAS Institute of Atmospheric Physics | Liu Y.,Brookhaven National Laboratory | Li D.,Princeton University
Journal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres | Year: 2015

The critical bulk Richardson number (Ricr) is an important parameter in planetary boundary layer (PBL) parameterization schemes used in many climate models. This paper examines the sensitivity of a global climate model, the Beijing Climate Center atmospheric general circulation model, to Ricr. The results show that the simulated global average of PBL height increases nearly linearly with Ricr, with a change of about 114 m for a change of 0.5 in Ricr. The surface sensible (latent) heat flux decreases (increases) as Ricr increases. The influence of Ricr on surface air temperature and specific humidity is not significant. The increasing Ricr may affect the location of the Westerly Belt in the Southern Hemisphere. Further diagnosis reveals that changes in Ricr affect stratiform and convective precipitations differently. Increasing Ricr leads to an increase in the stratiform precipitation but a decrease in the convective precipitation. Significant changes of convective precipitation occur over the Intertropical Convergence Zone, while changes of stratiform precipitation mostly appear over arid land such as North Africa and Middle East. © 2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. Source

Chen Z.,Sun Yat Sen University | Wen Z.,Sun Yat Sen University | Wen Z.,Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences | Wen Z.,Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Climate Change | And 3 more authors.
Climate Dynamics | Year: 2015

This study investigates the relative importance of tropical Indian Ocean warming (IOW) and equatorial central to eastern Pacific cooling (EPC) in sustaining an anomalous Western North Pacific anticyclone (WNPAC) during the transition from an El Niño in the preceding winter to a La Niña in the subsequent summer through a suite of numerical experiments. The numerical results indicate that the WNPAC is maintained by a combined effect of IOW and EPC during the La Niña developing years. The contribution of IOW in maintaining the WNPAC sustains from spring to early summer, but appears to weaken after that as IOW decays. The role of IOW is via an eastward-propagating Kelvin wave induced Ekman divergence mechanism. The decay of IOW is because of reduction in downward solar radiation associated with above normal precipitation in situ. As the cooling develops over central to eastern Pacific from spring to summer, EPC starts to contribute to the maintenance of the WNPAC during summer through stimulating a Rossby wave response to its northwest. In this study, we have identified that the cooling over the central to eastern Pacific plays an important role in sustaining the WNPAC during La Niña developing summers. This finding may help improve the prediction of the East Asian summer monsoon, which is closely associated with the WNPAC. © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg Source

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