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Gao, Lu; Wei, Jianhui; Wang, Lingxiao; Bernhardt, Matthias; Schulz, Karsten and Chen, Xingwei (2018): A high-resolution air temperature data set for the Chinese Tian Shan in 1979-2016. In: Earth System Science Data, Vol. 10, No. 4: pp. 2097-2114 [PDF, 5MB]


The Chinese Tian Shan (also known as the Chinese Tianshan Mountains, CTM) have a complex ecological environmental system. They not only have a large number of desert oases but also support many glaciers. The arid climate and the shortage of water resources are the important factors restricting the area's socioeconomic development. This study presents a unique high-resolution (1 km, 6-hourly) air temperature data set for the Chinese Tian Shan (41.1814-45.9945 degrees N, 77.3484-96.9989 degrees E) from 1979 to 2016 based on a robust elevation correction framework. The data set was validated by 24 meteorological stations at a daily scale. Compared to original ERA-Interim temperature, the Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency coefficient increased from 0.90 to 0.94 for all test sites. Approximately 24% of the root-mean-square error was reduced from 3.75 to 2.85 degrees C. A skill score based on the probability density function, which was used to validate the reliability of the new data set for capturing the distributions, improved from 0.86 to 0.91 for all test sites. The data set was able to capture the warming trends compared to observations at annual and seasonal scales, except for winter. We concluded that the new high-resolution data set is generally reliable for climate change investigation over the Chinese Tian Shan. However, the new data set is expected to be further validated based on more observations. This data set will be helpful for potential users to improve local climate monitoring, modeling, and environmental studies in the Chinese Tian Shan. The data set presented in this article is published in the Network Common Data Form (NetCDF) at https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.887700. The data set includes 288 nc files and one user guidance txt file.

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