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Variability of Northeast China River Break-up Date


doi: 10.1007/s00376-009-9035-1

  • This paper investigates the variability of the break-up dates of the rivers in Northeast China from their icebound states for the period of 1957--2005 and explores some potential explanatory mechanisms. Results show that the break-up of the two major rivers (the Heilongjiang River and Songhuajiang River) was about four days earlier, and their freeze-up was about 4--7 days delayed, during 1989--2005 as compared to 1971--1987. This interdecadal variation is evidently associated with the warming trend over the past 50 years. In addition, the break-up and freeze-up dates have large interannual variability, with a standard deviation of about 10--15 days. The break-up date is primarily determined by the January--February--March mean surface air temperature over the Siberian-Northeast China region via changes in the melting rate, ice thickness, and snow cover over the ice cover. The interannual variability of the break-up date is also significantly connected with the Northern Annular Mode (NAM), with a correlation coefficient of 0.35--0.55 based on the data from four stations along the two rivers. This relationship is attributed to the fact that the NAM can modulate the East Asian winter monsoon circulation and Siberian-Northeast China surface air temperature in January--February--March.
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Manuscript History

Manuscript received: 10 July 2009
Manuscript revised: 10 July 2009
通讯作者: 陈斌, bchen63@163.com
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    沈阳化工大学材料科学与工程学院 沈阳 110142

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Variability of Northeast China River Break-up Date

  • 1. Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029; Climate Change Research Center (CCRC), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029 and Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029; Climate Change Research Center (CCRC), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029

Abstract: This paper investigates the variability of the break-up dates of the rivers in Northeast China from their icebound states for the period of 1957--2005 and explores some potential explanatory mechanisms. Results show that the break-up of the two major rivers (the Heilongjiang River and Songhuajiang River) was about four days earlier, and their freeze-up was about 4--7 days delayed, during 1989--2005 as compared to 1971--1987. This interdecadal variation is evidently associated with the warming trend over the past 50 years. In addition, the break-up and freeze-up dates have large interannual variability, with a standard deviation of about 10--15 days. The break-up date is primarily determined by the January--February--March mean surface air temperature over the Siberian-Northeast China region via changes in the melting rate, ice thickness, and snow cover over the ice cover. The interannual variability of the break-up date is also significantly connected with the Northern Annular Mode (NAM), with a correlation coefficient of 0.35--0.55 based on the data from four stations along the two rivers. This relationship is attributed to the fact that the NAM can modulate the East Asian winter monsoon circulation and Siberian-Northeast China surface air temperature in January--February--March.

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