Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2020, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (10): 1664-1680.doi: 10.1007/s11442-020-1806-8

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Temperature variations evidenced by records on the latest spring snowing dates in Hangzhou of eastern China during 1131-1270AD

LIU Haolong1,2(), DAI Junhu1,2, YAN Junhui3, HE Fanneng1,2, GE Quansheng1,2,*(), MU Chongxing4   

  1. 1. 1. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    3. The College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Xinyang Normal University, Xinyang 464000, Henan, China
    4. The Taizhou Meteorological Bureau, Taizhou 318000, Zhejiang, China
  • Received:2020-03-22 Accepted:2020-06-12 Online:2020-10-25 Published:2020-10-27
  • Contact: GE Quansheng;
  • About author:Liu Haolong (1976–), PhD and Associate Professor, specialized in historical geography and global change. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Key R&D Program of China, No(2017YFA0603300);Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No(XDA19040101)


We collected and verified documentary records of the latest spring snowing dates (LSSD) in Hangzhou during Southern Song Dynasty. Furtherly, the statistical correlation between this proxy and February-April mean temperature in Hangzhou was examined, and samples later than the perennial mean of the LSSD during Southern Song Dynasty were transformed into the decadal mean of LSSD by means of Boltzmann function. General characteristics of this reconstructed LSSD series with a 10-year temporal resolution was analyzed, and it was also compared with other documentary evidences and reconstructed climate series in China for the period 1131-1270. The results and discussion suggested that: (1) Records of the LSSD in Hangzhou during Southern Song Dynasty did not refer to ice pellets and graupels, which had an explicit climate significance (-0.34oC/10d, R 2=0.37, p<0.001). However, when this proxy is used to reconstruct temperature changes, all dates should be converted into proleptic Gregorian style and meet the same criterion of “true Qi” as the Chinese traditional calendar after 1929. (2) The decadal mean of LSSD can be effectively estimated by using the forefront of LSSD in the decade on the basis of Boltzmann function, whose extrapolation has a lesser uncertainty than those on the basis of linear models or polynomial models. (3) The spring climate in Hangzhou during 1131-1270 was almost as warm as the period 1951-1980. At the centennial scale, this period can be divided into two phases: the cold 1131-1170 and the warm 1171-1270. In the latter, 1181-1200 and 1221-1240 were two cold intervals at the multi-decadal scale. (4) The reconstructed LSSD series was consistent well with other documentary evidences and reconstructed climate series in China for 1131-1270, which may reflect the influence on the climate over most regions of China imposed by the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).

Key words: Southern Song Dynasty, Hangzhou, the latest spring snowing dates, climatic significance, general characteristics of temperature variation