Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2020, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (4): 657-668.doi: 10.1007/s11442-020-1748-1

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Spatio-temporal differentiation of climate warming (1959-2016) in the middle Qinling Mountains of China

ZHAO Ting1,2, BAI Hongying1,2,*(), YUAN Yuan3, DENG Chenhui4, QI Guizeng1,2, ZHAI Danping1,2   

  1. 1. Northwest University, Xi’an 710127, China;
    2. Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Earth Surface System and Environmental Carrying Capacity, College of Urban and Environmental Science, Xi’an 710127, China;
    3. Meteorological Bureau of Shangluo, Shangluo 726000, Shaanxi, China
    4. Xianyang Normal University, Xianyang 712000, Shaanxi, China
  • Received:2019-05-31 Accepted:2019-11-08 Online:2020-04-25 Published:2020-06-25
  • Contact: BAI Hongying
  • About author:Zhao Ting, PhD, specialized in climate change and ecological environment. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Forestry Public Welfare Industry Scientific Research Project of China(201304309)


Based on air temperature observation data from 32 meteorological stations, temperature changes in the middle Qinling Mountains from 1959 to 2016 were analysed with respect to the north-south, seasonal and altitude differences. Our research mainly showed the following results. The annual temperature (TA) rose approximately 0.26℃/10a within the past 58 years. This warming trend was stronger on the northern slope than on the southern slope, and a warming trend reversal occurred in 1994 on the northern slope, which was three years earlier than on the southern slope. The temperature changes for the four seasons were not synchronized, and the trend in spring contributed the most to the TA trend, followed by winter, autumn, and summer. The temperature difference between summer and winter (TDSW) decreased significantly over the past 58 years. The temperature change in the middle Qinling Mountains was clearly dependent on altitude. With increases in altitude, the TA increased gradually and became stronger while the TDSW decreased gradually and became weaker. Differences in temperature change between the north and south were mainly observed in low-altitude areas. With increase in altitude, the differences gradually tended to disappear.

Key words: air temperature, change trend, seasonal differences, altitude dependence, middle Qinling Mountains, China