Articles | Volume 368
06 May 2015
 | 06 May 2015

Trends of surface humidity and temperature during 1951−2012 in Beijing, China

Q. Chu, Z. Xu, D. Peng, X. Yang, and G. Yang

Keywords: Beijing, specific humidity, relative humidity, trends

Abstract. In this paper, two datasets, a long time series (1951–2012) of daily surface observations at one meteorological station and a shorter time series (1979–2012) of three-hourly data with 0.1°×0.1° spatial resolution were analysed by using non-parametric methods to identify annual and seasonal variations in surface humidity and temperature. The results reveal that: (1) saturation water vapour pressure increased exponentially with temperature. Actual daily values at Beijing Meteorological Station are very close to the theoretical values estimated by using the simplified Clausius-Clapeyron equation, but with seasonal variations. (2) For both long- and short-term data, clear increasing tendencies of annual saturation specific humidity and temperature are found. Decreasing and drying trends were detected for winter. (3) The annual relative humidity showed a decreasing trend except for some suburban areas, somehow related to the lower temperature and increased specific humidity in those areas. (4) Regional changes in topography and elevation likely influenced trends in surface humidity, while local land use showed little effect on it.