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New Downscaled 1901-2017 Climate Dataset for China Published

A climate dataset for China featuring the longest time series, highest spatial resolution and widest coverage yet of any such dataset, along with an analysis of the data, was recently published in Earth System Science Data by a research team led by PENG Shouzhang from Northwest A&F University.

High-spatial-resolution and long-term climate data are fundamental for investigating natural processes related to climate change. The newly released dataset describes detailed climatology and annual temperature and precipitation trends across China. It provides scientific support for future work, including research on long-term climate change and the effects of climate change at fine geographical scales across China.

The new dataset, with 0.5 arcminute equivalent to ~1 km, was spatially downscaled from the 30 arcminute (~55 km) Climatic Research Unit (CRU) time series dataset and the WorldClim reference dataset using the Delta downscaling method. It includes monthly maximum, minimum and mean temperatures as well as precipitation from 1901 through 2017. The dataset covers most of China’s land acreage.

The new dataset was not evaluated for years before 1950 due to data unavailability in China. The quality of the new dataset for the period from 1901-2017 depends on the quality of the original CRU and WorldClim datasets. The new dataset is reliable, since the downscaling procedure further improved the quality and spatial resolution of the CRU dataset. It was evaluated by 496 national weather stations in China, which attested to its reliability for investigations related to climate change in China.

Schematic illustration of the delta spatial downscaling process using the mean temperature in July 2017

Spatial patterns of the annual trends in temperature and precipitation from 1901 to 2017 across China using the 0.5’ downscaled data with bilinear interpolation (purple zones indicate locations where trends are significant at the 95% confidence level)

The research was supported by the Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research, a TPE-related science project.

(This news is from TPE:

Data available at:

1-km monthly minimum temperature dataset for China (1901-2017):

1-km monthly maximum temperature dataset for China (1901-2017):

1-km monthly precipitation dataset for China (1901-2017):

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