Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting China.

Climate Data Historical

China’s climate varies dramatically according to a number of variables, including  altitude, latitude, and distance from the coast. Southern China experiences a tropical climate, with high temperatures and heavy rainfall particularly during the summer (May-September) while the mountainous regions of Southwestern China experience more moderate temperatures. Tibet and Inner Mongolia experience much harsher climates, with very cold winters and particularly strong winds to be expected in high altitude regions. Central and eastern China experiences fewer climate extremes but summers are known to be notably humid.


  • Between 1901-2010 the average surface air temperature of mainland China increased by 0.98°C with a particular acceleration in warming since 1980. As of 2010 China was warming at around 0.25°C per decade (Second National Communication, 2012).
  • Increases in the frequency of heat waves have been documented along with reductions in the frequency of extreme cold events, with high temperatures recorded in the period 1990-2010.
  • Trends in historic warming show considerable regional variation, average temperature rises are strongest in the northern regions and weakest in the south.


  • No statistically significant changes in annual average rainfall patterns were detected in China between 1960 and 2010 (Second National Communication, 2012).
  • Intra-annual changes were significant, spring and autumn precipitation rates declined 3.2mm/year and 3.6mm/year respectively, while summer precipitation increased significantly.
  • Regionalized changes in precipitation were significant, annual average precipitation has declined in Northeastern China between 1960 and 2010 while simultaneously increasing in Western, Central and Southern areas.
  • Increases in the frequency of drought events are reported.

This section provides the options to visualize historical climate data for different timeframes via map and annual cycle chart.


Click on map to change chart data from country aggregated to site-specific data.