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Scientists Reveal Sino-German Cooperative Research Findings on Climate Change in Central Asia


Central Asia occupies the hinterland of the Eurasian continent, more than 93% of the total area is dry land. Under the background of global warming, the ecosystems in Central Asia are very sensitive and susceptible to climate change. An in-depth understanding of the characteristics and driving factors of climate change in Central Asia is of great importance for improving ecosystem management and promoting sustainable development in this region.


The Sino-German Joint Research Center for the Management of Ecosystems and Environmental Changes in Arid Lands was established by scientists from the Chinese side (Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, etc.) and the German side (Technical University Munich, Technical University of Berlin, Catholic University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt, etc.) in 2013. This Center mainly focuses on the environmental change in arid lands, global climate change and the impacts of human activities.


Scientists both from China and Germany participating in this collaborative effort have formed close connections. Based on the six years of cooperated research work, many new and fruitful research findings relating to Central Asia have been made.


Findings showed that at the temporal scales, the annual mean temperature in Central Asia exhibited an increasing trend from the 1960s to the 2000s, with an average rate of 0.30°C/10a. This rate is even higher for the period from the 1980s to the 2000s (at about 0.39°C/10a), especially in the spring season. The Central Asia has experienced a faster temperature rise than the global average in the past six decades. At the spatial scales, a large increase in temperature occurred mainly in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and the southwestern parts of Kazakhstan. The data also showed that the HadCM3, MIROC5, MPI-ESM-LR, MPI-ESM-P, CMCC-CM, and CMCC-CMS models performed best in simulating precipitation in Central Asia. The major driving factors for climate change in Central Asia are greenhouse gas emissions and global atmospheric circulations.


The results provide support for the consideration of decision-making processes in climate models and for the improvement of basic weather and climate observations as well as the construction of measurement infrastructure to improve the quality and accuracy of future studies in Central Asia.


The research results entitled “Climate change in Central Asia: Sino-German cooperative research findings” was published on Science Bulletin on May 15, 2020.


Article link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095927320300700