Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions ›› 2018, Vol. 10 ›› Issue (5): 369-378.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2018.00369

Previous Articles     Next Articles

Comparison of temperature extremes between Zhongshan Station and Great Wall Station in Antarctica

AiHong Xie1,*(),ShiMeng Wang1,*(),YiCheng Wang1,2,ChuanJin Li1   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China
    2 Gansu Meteorological Administration, Lanzhou, Gansu 730020, China
  • Received:2018-05-03 Accepted:2018-07-03 Online:2018-11-19 Published:2018-11-21
  • Contact: AiHong Xie,ShiMeng Wang;
  • Supported by:
    This research is funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41476164, 41671073, 41425003, and 41671063) and the State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science.


Although temperature extremes have led to more and more disasters, there are as yet few studies on the extremes and many disagreements on temperature changes in Antarctica. Based on daily minimum, maximum, and mean air temperatures (Tmin, Tmax, Tmean) at Great Wall Station (GW) and Zhongshan Station (ZS), we compared the temperature extremes and revealed a strong warming trend in Tmin, a slight warming trend in Tmean, cooling in Tmax, a decreasing trend in the daily temperature range, and the typical characteristic of coreless winter temperature. There are different seasonal variabilities, with the least in summer. The continentality index and seasonality show that the marine air mass has more effect on GW than ZS. Following the terminology of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR5), we defined nine indices of temperature extremes, based on the Antarctic geographical environment. Extreme-warm days have decreased, while extreme-warm nights have shown a nonsignificant trend. The number of melting days has increased at GW, while little change at ZS. More importantly, we have found inverse variations in temperature patterns between the two stations, which need further investigation into the dynamics of climate change in Antarctica.

Key words: temperature extremes, Great Wall Station, Zhongshan Station, West Antarctica, East Antarctica, inverse variations, climate events

Figure 1

Map of Antarctica and annual spatial footprint of GW (left) and ZS (right) stations' temperature (The color shadings show the correlation between the annual mean temperatures at GW or ZS and at every other grid point in Antarctica. The correlations are calculated using ERA-Interim 2-metre temperature from 1989 to 2015. Stars denote the location of GW and ZS)"

Table 1

Annual, seasonal, and monthly Tmean, Tmin, and Tmax (°C) and CI (%) for Great Wall and Zhongshan stations "

Temperature Station CI Annual SON DJF MAM JJA Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
Tmean Great Wall 9.05 ?2.2 ?2.7 1.3 ?1.5 ?5.9 1.8 1.8 0.6 ?1.7 ?3.1 ?5.3 ?6.2 ?5.6 ?4.4 ?2.5 ?1.0 0.5
ZhongShan 17.7 ?10.0 ?10.8 ?1.0 ?12.2 ?15.6 0.3 ?2.8 ?8.1 ?13.0 ?15.3 ?14.3 ?16.2 ?16.3 ?15.2 ?12.0 ?5.1 ?0.4
Tmin Great Wall 10.4 ?4.3 ?7.3 ?1.2 ?5.7 ?10.4 0.3 0.2 ?1.1 ?3.4 ?5.1 ?7.8 ?8.9 ?8.2 ?7.0 ?4.5 ?2.7 ?1.0
ZhongShan 18.5 ?12.6 ?18.1 ?4.9 ?18.8 ?21.0 ?1.9 ?4.7 ?10.2 ?15.5 ?18.3 ?17.2 ?19.2 ?19.3 ?18.0 ?14.7 ?7.8 ?2.8
Tmax Great Wall 8.27 ?0.1 0.8 3.9 2.3 ?2.0 3.7 3.5 2.3 0.1 ?1.2 ?3.0 ?3.6 ?3.2 ?2.1 ?0.6 0.8 2.4
ZhongShan 17.5 ?7.2 ?2.0 3.2 ?5.8 ?10.5 3.0 ?0.5 ?5.8 ?10.5 ?12.5 ?11.6 ?13.3 ?13.4 ?12.4 ?8.9 ?2.0 2.5

Table 2

Definitions of nine indices of temperature extremes"

Index Descriptive name Definition Units
TXx Warmest day Annual highest Tmax °C
TNx Warmest night Annual highest Tmin °C
TXn Coldest day Annual lowest Tmax °C
TNn Coldest night Annual lowest Tmin °C
TX10 Cold-day frequency Percentage of days when Tmax < 10th percentile of 1985/1989–2015 %
TN10 Cold-night frequency Percentage of days when Tmin < 10th percentile of 1985/1989–2015 %
TN90 Warm-night frequency Percentage of days when Tmin > 90th percentile of 1985/1989–2015 %
TX90 Warm-day frequency Percentage of days when Tmax > 90th percentile of 1985/1989–2015 %
MD Melting days Annual count when Tmin ≥0 °C d

Figure 2

Time series of annual mean (solid line), maximum (broken line with solid circle), and minimum (dotted line with triangle) temperature (°C) and the corresponding linear trends at GW (black) and ZS (red) stations (from daily values) for annual and austral seasons: Spring (SON), Summer (DJF), Autumn (MAM), and Winter (JJA) (°C)"

Figure 3

The daily temperature range (DTR) (°C) at GW (red) and ZS (blue) stations for annual and austral seasons. The solid circle/triangle and dashed line represents the observations and 5-year-moving average, respectively (°C)"

Figure 4

For monthly average and monthly standard deviation for Tmean (solid line), Tmin (dotted line with triangle), and Tmax (broken line with solid circle) (°C) at GW (black) and ZS (red) "

Figure 5

The annual variations during 1985/1989–2015 for indices of temperature extremes, including warm indices (TXx, TNx, TN90, TX90, MD) and cold indices (TXn, TNn, TN10, TX10)"

1 Allison I Surface climate of the interior of the Lambert Glacier basin, Antarctica, from automatic weather station data. Annals of Glaciology 1998; 27: 515- 520.
doi: 10.3189/1998AoG27-1-515-520
2 Amesbury MJ, Roland TP, Royles J, et al. Widespread Biological Response to Rapid Warming on the Antarctic Peninsula. Current Biology 2017; 27: 11 1616- 1622.
doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.04.034
3 Barbante C, Barnola JM, Becagli S, et al. One-to-one coupling of glacial climate variability in Greenland and Antarctica. Nature 2006; 444: 7116 195- 198.
doi: 10.1038/nature05301
4 Berg H Zum begriff der kontinentalität. Meteorologische Zeitschrift 1944; 61: 283- 284.
5 Blunier T, Brook EJ Timing of millennial-scale climate change in Antarctica and Greenland during the last glacial period. Science 2001; 291: 5501 109- 112.
doi: 10.1126/science.291.5501.109
6 Bromwich DH, Nicolas JP, Monaghan AJ, et al. Central West Antarctica among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth. Nature Geoscience 2013; 6: 2 139- 145.
doi: 10.1038/ngeo1671
7 Chapman WL, Walsh JE A synthesis of Antarctic temperatures. Journal of Climate 2007; 20: 16 4096- 4117.
doi: 10.1175/JCLI4236.1
8 Chylek P, Folland CK, Lesins G, et al. Twentieth century bipolar seesaw of the Arctic and Antarctic surface air temperatures. Geophysical Research Letters 2010; 37: 8 L08703.
doi: 10.1029/2010GL042793
9 Clem KR, Renwick JA, McGregor J Autumn cooling of Western East Antarctica linked to the tropical Pacific. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 2018; 123: 1 89- 107.
doi: 10.1002/2017JD027435
10 Conrad V Usual formulas of continentality and their limits of validity. Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union 1946; 27: 5 663- 664.
doi: 10.1029/TR027i005p00663
11 Dee DP, Uppala S Variational bias correction of satellite radiance data in the ERA-Interim reanalysis. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 2009; 135: 644 1830- 1841.
doi: 10.1002/qj.493
12 Ding QH, Steig EJ, Battisti DS, et al. Winter warming in West Antarctica caused by central tropical Pacific warming. Nature Geoscience 2011; 4: 6 398- 403.
doi: 10.1038/ngeo1129
13 Gong JX, Xie AH, Bian LG, et al. Variation of the maximum and minimum air temperatures along the traverse route from Zhongshan to Kunlun Station, East Antarctica. Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology 2015; 37: 3 604- 613.
14 Gorczyński L Sur le calcul du degré du continentalisme et son application dans la climatologie. Geografiska Annaler 1920; 2: 324- 331.
15 Han W, Xiao CD, Guo XY, et al. Variations of precipitation form at the Great Wall station and Zhongshan station, Antarctica. Climate Change Research 2018; 14: 2 120- 126.
16 IPCC, 2012. Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation: Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1–20
17 IPCC, 2013. Climate change 2013: the physical science basis. contribution of working group I to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
18 Kaufman DE, Friedrichs MAM, Smith WO Jr, et al. Climate change impacts on southern Ross Sea phytoplankton composition, productivity, and export. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 2017; 122: 3 2339- 2359.
doi: 10.1002/2016JC012514
19 Kennicutt II MC, Chown SL, Cassano JJ, et al. Polar research: six priorities for Antarctic science. Nature 2014; 512: 7512 23- 25.
doi: 10.1038/512023a
20 Landais A, Masson-Delmotte V, Stenni B, et al. A review of the bipolar see-saw from synchronized and high resolution ice core water stable isotope records from Greenland and East Antarctica. Quaternary Science Reviews 2015; 114: 18- 32.
doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.01.031
21 Lee JR, Raymond B, Bracegirdle TJ, et al. Climate change drives expansion of Antarctic ice-free habitat. Nature 2017; 547: 7661 49- 54.
doi: 10.1038/nature22996
22 Morgan V, Delmotte M, van Ommen T, et al. Relative timing of deglacial climate events in Antarctica and Greenland. Science 2002; 297: 5588 1862- 1864.
doi: 10.1126/science.1074257
23 Nicolas JP, Bromwich DH New reconstruction of antarctic near-surface temperatures: multidecadal trends and reliability of global reanalyses. Journal of Climate 2014; 27: 21 8070- 8093.
doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00733.1
24 Oliva M, Navarro F, Hrbáček F, et al. Recent regional climate cooling on the Antarctic Peninsula and associated impacts on the cryosphere. Science of the Total Environment 2017; 580: 210- 223.
doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.12.030
25 Paolo FS, Padman L, Fricker HA, et al. Response of Pacific-sector antarctic ice shelves to the El Niño/southern oscillation. Nature Geoscience 2018; 11: 2 121- 126.
doi: 10.1038/s41561-017-0033-0
26 Pedro JB, van Ommen TD, Rasmussen SO, et al. The last deglaciation: timing the bipolar seesaw. Climate of the Past 2011; 7: 2 671- 683.
doi: 10.5194/cp-7-671-2011
27 Scambos TA, Campbell GG, Pope A, et al. Ultralow surface temperatures in East Antarctica from satellite thermal infrared mapping: the coldest places on Earth. Geophysical Research Letters 2018; 45: 12 6124- 6133.
doi: 10.1029/2018GL078133
28 Schneider DP, Deser C, Okumura Y An assessment and interpretation of the observed warming of West Antarctica in the austral spring. Climate Dynamics 2012; 38: 1–2 323- 347.
doi: 10.1007/s00382-010-0985-x
29 Self AE, Brooks SJ, Birks HJB, et al. The distribution and abundance of chironomids in high-latitude Eurasian lakes with respect to temperature and continentality: development and application of new chironomid-based climate-inference models in northern Russia. Quaternary Science Reviews 2011; 30: 9–10 1122- 1141.
doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2011.01.022
30 Shepherd A, Ivins ER, Geruo A, et al. A reconciled estimate of ice-sheet mass balance. Science 2012; 338: 6111 1183- 1189.
doi: 10.1126/science.1228102
31 Steig EJ, Schneider DP, Rutherford SD, et al. Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year. Nature 2009; 457: 7228 459- 462.
doi: 10.1038/nature07669
32 Steig EJ Cooling in the antarctic. Nature 2016; 535: 7612 358- 359.
doi: 10.1038/535358a
33 Stocker TF, Johnsen SJ A minimum thermodynamic model for the bipolar seesaw. Paleoceanography 2003; 18: 4 1087.
doi: 10.1029/2003PA000920
34 Thomas ER, van Wessem JM, Roberts J, et al. Regional Antarctic snow accumulation over the past 1000 years. Climate of the Past 2017; 13: 11 1491- 1513.
doi: 10.5194/cp-13-1491-2017
35 Turner J, Colwell SR, Marshall GJ, et al. The SCAR READER project: toward a high-quality database of mean Antarctic meteorological observations. Journal of Climate 2004; 17: 14 2890- 2898.
doi: 10.1175/1520-0442(2004)017<2890:TSRPTA>2.0.CO;2
36 Turner J, Colwell SR, Marshall GJ, et al. Antarctic climate change during the last 50 years. International Journal of Climatology 2005; 25: 3 279- 294.
doi: 10.1002/joc.1130
37 Turner J, Lu H, White I, et al. Absence of 21st century warming on Antarctic Peninsula consistent with natural variability. Nature 2016; 535: 7612 411- 415.
doi: 10.1038/nature18645
38 Van Wessem JM, Reijmer CH, van de Berg WJ, et al. Temperature and wind climate of the Antarctic Peninsula as simulated by a high-resolution regional atmospheric climate model. Journal of Climate 2015; 28: 18 7306- 7326.
doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0060.1
39 Vaughan DG, Marshall GJ, Connolley WM, et al. Recent rapid regional climate warming on the Antarctic Peninsula. Climatic Change 2003; 60: 3 243- 274.
doi: 10.1023/A:1026021217991
40 Wang P, Li YM, Zhang QH, et al. Three-year monitoring of atmospheric PCBs and PBDEs at the Chinese Great Wall Station, West Antarctica: levels, chiral signature, environmental behaviors and source implication. Atmospheric Environment 2017; 150: 407- 416.
doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2016.11.036
41 Xie AH, Allison I, Xiao CD, et al. Assessment of air temperatures from different meteorological reanalyses for the East Antarctic region between Zhonshan and Dome A. Science China Earth Sciences 2014; 57: 7 1538- 1550.
doi: 10.1007/s11430-013-4684-4
42 Xie AH, Wang SM, Xiao CD, et al. Can temperature extremes in East Antarctica be replicated from ERA Interim reanalysis?. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 2016; 48: 4 603- 621.
doi: 10.1657/AAAR0015-048
43 Yuan NM, Ding MH, Huang Y, et al. On the long-term climate memory in the surface air temperature records over Antarctica: a nonnegligible factor for trend evaluation. Journal of Climate 2015; 28: 15 5922- 5934.
doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00733.1
44 Zhang YH, Wang YM, Zhang MM, et al. Seasonal variations in aerosol compositions at Great Wall Station in Antarctica. Advances in Polar Science 2015; 26: 3 196- 202.
doi: 10.13679/j.advps.2015.3.00196
45 Zhou XJ, Bian LG, Jia PQ, et al. A preliminary study on the surface thermal regime over the Great Wall Station in Antarctica. Chinese Science Bulletin 1990; 35: 19 1638- 1642.
No related articles found!
Full text



[1] Mohan Bahadur Chand,Rijan Bhakta Kayastha. Study of thermal properties of supraglacial debris and degree-day factors on Lirung Glacier, Nepal[J]. Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions, 2018, 10(5): 357 -368 .
[2] YanZai Wang, YongQiu Wu, MeiHui Pan, RuiJie Lu. Comparison of two classification methods to identify grain size fractions of aeolian sediment[J]. Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions, 2018, 10(5): 413 -420 .
[3] YinHuan Ao, ShiHua Lyu, ZhaoGuo Li, LiJuan Wen, Lin Zhao. Numerical simulation of the climate effect of high-altitude lakes on the Tibetan Plateau[J]. Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions, 2018, 10(5): 379 -391 .
[4] Zhuo Ga, Za Dui, Duodian Luozhu, Jun Du. Comparison of precipitation products to observations in Tibet during the rainy season[J]. Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions, 2018, 10(5): 392 -403 .
[5] Rong Yang, JunQia Kong, ZeYu Du, YongZhong Su. Altitude pattern of carbon stocks in desert grasslands of an arid land region[J]. Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions, 2018, 10(5): 404 -412 .
[6] Yang Qiu, ZhongKui Xie, XinPing Wang, YaJun Wang, YuBao Zhang, YuHui He, WenMei Li, WenCong Lv. Effect of slow-release iron fertilizer on iron-deficiency chlorosis, yield and quality of Lilium davidii var. unicolor in a two-year field experiment[J]. Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions, 2018, 10(5): 421 -427 .
[7] Ololade A. Oyedapo,Joseph M. Agbedahunsi,H. C Illoh,Akinwumi J. Akinloye. Comparative foliar anatomy of three Khaya species (Meliaceae) used in Nigeria as antisickling agent[J]. Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions, 2018, 10(4): 279 -285 .
[8] YuMing Wei, XiaoFei Ma, PengShan Zhao. Transcriptomic comparison to identify rapidly evolving genes in Braya humilis[J]. Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions, 2018, 10(5): 428 -435 .
[9] FangLei Zhong, AiJun Guo, XiaoJuan Yin, JinFeng Cui, Xiao Yang, YanQiong Zhang. Sociodemographic characteristics, cultural biases, and environmental attitudes: An empirical application of grid-group cultural theory in Northwestern China[J]. Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions, 2018, 10(5): 436 -446 .
[10] Yong Chen,Tao Wang,LiHua Zhou,Rui Wang. Industrialization model of enterprises participating in ecological management and suggestions: A case study of the Hobq Model in Inner Mongolia[J]. Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions, 2018, 10(4): 286 -292 .