U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

Extending Climate Data Records to the Qing Dynasty
Published: November 24, 2008
Posted: January 27, 2009

Extending climate data beyond the instrumental record is important since it provides a context of recent changes within the back drop of long-term climate. The rainy season is an important climate feature over Eastern China where anomaly in either its timing or length can lead to adverse economic and social consequences. BER-sponsored researcher W.C. Wang has examined records of daily precipitation description at Beijing and Shanghai contained in Memos-to-Emperor during the Qing Dynasty. They provide a unique source to extend the rainy season information to 1736. The information together with the instrument measurements since 1875 in both cities reveals significant inter-annual and decadal variations of the beginning and ending dates, and length of the rainy season. The analysis further reveals that, on the decadal time scale, the length of the rainy season increased in Shanghai since 1961 with more frequent extreme rainfall events, but decreased in Beijing since 1975 with persistent dry conditions. This pattern of changes was not seen in any other periods of the data, in particular during 1736-1820 when both cities showed an increase in the length of the rainy season.

Reference: Wang W.C., Ge Q., Hao Z and Zheng J., Zhang P., and Sung S., 2008:  Rainy Season at Beijing and Shanghai since 1736. J. Meteor. Soc. Japan, 86, 827-834.

Contact: Anjuli Bamzai, SC-23.1, (301) 903-0294
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling
  • Research Area: Earth and Environment Systems Data Management

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

May 10, 2019
Quantifying Decision Uncertainty in Water Management via a Coupled Agent-Based Model
Considering risk perception can improve the representation of human decision-making processes in age [more...]

May 09, 2019
Projecting Global Urban Area Growth Through 2100 Based on Historical Time Series Data and Future Scenarios
Study provides country-specific urban area growth models and the first dataset on country-level urba [more...]

May 05, 2019
Calibrating Building Energy Demand Models to Refine Long-Term Energy Planning
A new, flexible calibration approach improved model accuracy in capturing year-to-year changes in bu [more...]

May 03, 2019
Calibration and Uncertainty Analysis of Demeter for Better Downscaling of Global Land Use and Land Cover Projections
Researchers improved the Demeter model’s performance by calibrating key parameters and establi [more...]

Apr 22, 2019
Representation of U.S. Warm Temperature Extremes in Global Climate Model Ensembles
Representation of warm temperature events varies considerably among global climate models, which has [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)