Recent Climate Trends on the Northern Slopes of the Tianshan Mountains, Xinjiang, China


Zhang, Hongfeng; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Zheng, Hua; Wang, Xiaoke

Journal or Book Title: Journal of Mountain Science

Keywords: Mountainous region; Climate change; Temperature; Precipitation; China

Volume/Issue: 6/3

Page Number(s): 255-265

Year Published: 2009


In arid regions, mountains fulfill important ecological and economic functions for the surrounding lowlands. In the scenario of global warming, mountain ecosystems change rapidly, especially in the arid region of northwestern China. This paper provides an assessment of the changes in temperature and precipitation in the historical records of climate on the northern slopes of the eastern Tianshan Mountains. A Mann-Kendall
nonparametric trend and Sen’s tests are employed to analyze the interannual changes and innerannual
variability in temperature and precipitation in the regions of low to high altitude. The present study
finds that the largest increases in annual temperature are observed at stations in the low altitude regions.
The significant increasing trends in temperature tend to occur mainly in late winter and early spring at
stations from middle to high altitude, but in summer and autumn at stations of low altitudes. The
increasing trends in annual precipitation are found from the middle to high altitude areas, but decreasing
trends are found in the low altitude areas. The significant increasing trends in precipitation occur
mostly in winter and earlier spring at stations from the middle to high altitudes, while the increasing and
decreasing trend coexists at stations of low altitude with most of the significant trend changes occurring
in March, June and August.

DOI: 10.1007/s11629-009-0236-y

Type of Publication: Journal Article