AbstractDiurnal cycle of surface air temperature T is an important metric indicating the feedback of land–atmospheric interaction to global warming, whereas the ability of current reanalyses to reproduce its variation had not been assessed adequately. Here, we evaluate the daily maximum temperature Tmax, daily minimum temperature Tmin, and diurnal temperature range (DTR) in five reanalyses based on observations collected at 2253 weather stations over China. Our results show that the reanalyses reproduce Tmin very well; however, except for Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications version 2 (MERRA-2), they substantially underestimate Tmax and DTR by 1.21°–6.84°C over China during the period of 1980–2014. MERRA-2 overestimates Tmax and DTR by 0.35° and 0.81°C, which are closest with observation. The reanalyses are skillful in reproducing the interannual variability of Tmax and Tmin but relatively poor for DTR. All reanalyses underestimate the warming trend of Tmin by 0.13°–0.17°C (10 yr)−1 throughout China during 1980–2014, and underestimate the warming trend of Tmax by 0.24°–0.40°C (10 yr)−1 in northwestern China while overestimating this quantity by 0.18°–0.33°C (10 yr)−1 in southeastern China. These trend biases in Tmax and Tmin introduce a positive trend bias in DTR of 0.01°–0.26°C (10 yr)−1 within China, especially in the north China plain and southeastern China. In the five reanalyses, owing to the sensitivity discrepancies and trend biases, the surface solar radiation Rs and precipitation frequency (PF) are notable deviation sources of the diurnal cycle of air temperature, which explain 31.0%–38.7% (31.9%–37.8%) and 9.8%–22.2% (7.4%–15.3%) of the trend bias in Tmax (DTR) over China, respectively.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Jun 12, 2018
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