Eastern China is in the midst of a two decade-long cooling trend, according to a new study, which labeled it a continuation of the “warming hiatus” that global temperatures experienced in the early 21st Century.
“During the past two decades since 1997, eastern China has experienced a warming hiatus punctuated by significant cooling in minimum temperature (Tmin), particularly during early-mid winter,” researchers with the China Meteorological Administration wrote in their July study.
“There is no evidence indicating a termination of the recent warming hiatus in eastern China,” researchers found. “The question of when the accelerated warming trend will resume needs to be answered by climate model prediction.”
The study found from 1998 to 2013 “the domain-averaged Tmin exhibited the strongest cooling trend and the number of significant cooling stations peaked.” There was “significant cooling” in minimum temperatures through 2016 in northern China, the Yangtze-Huai River Valley and southern China.
“This sustained hiatus gave rise to increasingly frequent and severe cold extremes there,” researchers wrote.
“Concerning its prolonged persistency and great cooling rate, the recent warming hiatus over eastern China deviates much from most historical short-term trends during the past five decades, and thus could be viewed as an outlier against the prevalent warming context,” researchers stated.