PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2014, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (6): 835-840.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2014.06.012

• Climate and Environmental Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The extreme cold winter of 1620 in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River

YAN Junhui1,2, LIU Haolong1, ZHENG Jingyun1, HAO Zhixin1, GE Quansheng1, FU Hui3   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3. College of Geography and Tourism, Chongqing Normal University, Chongqing 400047, China
  • Received:2014-04-01 Revised:2014-05-01 Online:2014-06-25 Published:2014-06-25

Abstract: Climate extremes have become a hot topic in the field of climate change research. In this study, the snow-cover days over the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River (MLRYR) in the winter of 1620 were extracted from Chinese historical documents and archives. Using these records, the winter temperature anomalies (with respect to the 1961-1990 mean) of 9 stations were estimated based on the relationship between winter temperature and snow-cover days during the period with available instrumental observations. The regional winter temperature anomaly over the MLRYR was also estimated through stepwise regression. The results show that: (1) The regional mean snow-cover days for the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River were about 50 days, with high spatial variability. Snow-cover days ranged from 30 in Shanghai to 100 in Jingzhou, and the average snow-cover days were approximately 70 days in Hefei, Huoshan, Nanjing, Chaohu, among others in the region. Snow-cover days in Anqing, Wuhan, Changde, Changsha and Jingdezhen were 40 to 60, while the least snow-cover days of about 30 were found in Shanghai and southern Jiangsu Province. (2) It was extremely cold in the winter of 1620, and the regional mean winter temperature was estimated to be lower by approximately 4.4℃ than that in the period of 1961-1990. The maximum (coldest) winter temperature anomaly occurred in Jingdezhen, with winter temperature anomaly of about 5.7℃ lower than the reference period. The next were Huoshan, Hefei, Changde,Wuhan and Shanghai, with the winter temperature anomalies ranging between -5 and -4℃. Nanjing, Anqing and Changsha experienced smaller negative anomalies, ranging from -4 to -3℃. The minimum (warmest) winter temperature anomaly was detected in Changsha, but it was still much lower than the coldest record during the observational period.

Key words: extreme cold winter, snow-cover days, the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, winter temperature, year 1620

CLC Number: 

  • P467