PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2016, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (12): 1538-1548.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2016.12.010

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles    

Near-surface air temperature lapse rates and seasonal and type differences in China

Jingchao JIANG1(), Junzhi LIU2,3,*(), Chengzhi QIN3,4, Yamin MIAO2, A-Xing ZHU2,3   

  1. 1. Smart City Research Center, Hangzhou Dianzi University, Hangzhou 310012, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Virtual Geographic Environment, Ministry of Education, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China
    3. Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210023, China
    4. State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Online:2016-12-20 Published:2016-12-20
  • Contact: Junzhi LIU;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41601423, No.41601413;National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program), No.2015CB954102;Program of Natural Science Research of Jiangsu Province, No.BK20150975


The lapse rate of near-surface air temperature is a critical parameter for obtaining high-precision air temperature products, especially in mountainous areas. The average lapse rate for the troposphere is 0.65℃/100 m, which cannot depict the seasonal and type differences in near-surface air temperature. This study used data from 839 Chinese national-level meteorological stations in 2000-2013 to calculate the lapse rates of seasonal mean air temperature (lrmeanT), seasonal mean minimum air temperature (lrminT), and seasonal mean maximum air temperature (lrmaxT) based on a multiple regression method at the national and regional scales, respectively. A spatial interpolation algorithm was used to validate the reliability of these lapse rates, and the seasonal and type differences were analyzed. The following results were obtained: (1) At the national scale, all the lapse rates are smaller than 0.65℃/100 m. The seasonal differences of lrminT, lrmeanT, and lrmaxT are 0.05, 0.13, and 0.24℃/100 m, respectively. Generally, the lapse rates of the summer are greater than those of the winter. The differences among the three types of lapse rates of air temperature are 0.12, 0.05, 0.11, and 0.26℃/100 m, respectively, in spring, summer, fall and winter. Generally, lrminT is the largest, while lrmaxT is the smallest. (2) At the regional scale by the comprehensive physical geographical regionalization, the lapse rates are also mostly smaller than 0.65℃/100 m. There are spatial differences for each type of lapse rate—the spatial ranges of annual lrminT, lrmeanT, and lrmaxT are 0.27-1.66℃/100 m, 0.22-1.03℃/100 m, and-0.10-0.83℃/100 m, respectively. The seasonal differences of lapse rates are mostly greater than or equal to 0.10℃/100 m, and the lapse rates of the summer are mostly greater than those of the winter. The differences among the three types of lapse rates in half of the regions are greater than 0.10℃/100 m. lrmaxT is larger than lrminT and lrmeanT for half of the regions in spring, summer, and fall, while lrminT is usually the largest in winter. Because of the seasonal differences, spatial differences, and differences among the three types of temperature lapse rates, temperature lapse rate should be determined for each season, region, and temperature type.

Key words: lapse rate of near-surface air temperature, comprehensive physical geographical regionalization, mean air temperature, mean minimum air temperature, mean maximum air temperature, China