Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2016, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (12): 1647-1660.doi: 10.1007/s11442-016-1350-8

• Orginal Article •     Next Articles

Causes and effects of spatial and temporal variations of cold period in Chinese oases between 1960 and 2014

Zhonghua CHAI(), Puxing LIU*()   

  1. College of Geography and Environmental Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
  • Received:2016-06-28 Accepted:2016-07-29 Online:2016-12-20 Published:2016-12-20
  • Contact: Puxing LIU;
  • About author:

    Author: Chai Zhonghua (1989-), MS Candidate, specialized in arid area environment and the construction of oasis. E-mail:

    *Corresponding author: Liu Puxing (1964-), Professor, E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40961035;The Science and Technology Project of Gansu Province, No.0803RJZA094;The Provincial Key Disciplines of Natural Geography Project of Gansu


Based on daily average temperatures and observation data from 74 meteorological stations in Chinese oases, we calculate five-day (pentad) average temperature ≤0℃ for the start and end pentad as well as pentads of cold period using linear regression analysis, nonparametric Mann-Kendall tests, the Morlet wavelet power spectrum, and correlation analysis. We also analyze spatial and temporal variations and their effects on the start and end pentad as well as pentads of cold period in Chinese oases. Results show that over the last 55 years, the start pentad of cold period has been postponed while the end pentad has been advanced. Overall, the pentads have gradually shortened over time at trend rates that are 0.3 p/10a, -0.27 p/10a, and -0.58 p/10a, respectively. Spatial differences are significant, especially for the Qaidam Basin oasis where the start pentad is the earliest, the end pentad is the latest, and the trend of change is most obvious. Mutation points for the start and end pentad as well as pentads of cold period were observed in 1990, 1998, and 1994, respectively. Of these, the start pentad and pentads of cold period show a periodic cycle, related to atmospheric circulation and El Nino events, while the end pentad exhibits a periodic cycle, related to solar activity. The Tibetan Plateau index (TPI), the Asian polar vortex area index (APVAI), and carbon dioxide emissions (CDE) are the main factors affecting cold period in the study area, whereas the South Asian summer monsoon (SASM) index exerts the greatest effect on the Qaidam Basin oasis. The start and end pentad as well as pentads of cold period increase in concert with latitude, longitude, and altitude; in response to these changes, the start pentad is advanced, the end pentad is postponed, and pentads of cold period are gradually extended. Results show that change in latitude is most significant. Overall, the start and end pentad as well as pentads of cold period show clear responses to regional warming, but there are different effects on each.

Key words: Chinese oases, pentad average temperature, influencing factor, regional warming