2019 Volume 15 Pages 47-51
The apparent temperature (APT), or human-perceived temperature, is commonly defined as a function of the surface air temperature (SAT), vapour pressure (or humidity) and wind speed. This paper demonstrates that the APT over China, as revealed by daily station-observed data, has generally increased faster than the SAT during summertime in the past 50 years (1968-2017). The rate of increase in APT was significantly faster than that of SAT in 60.1% of stations, and the difference between the average China-wide APT and SAT was 0.11°C decade−1. This phenomenon is occurring nationwide, but it is more intense over western, north-eastern and eastern coastal China. The more rapid increasing trend in APT indicates that human beings actually experience surplus heat stress under a certain change in SAT, and the increased SAT explains 67.0% of the average APT warming for the country, contributing to the change in the base APT. Apart from the increasing SAT, a decrease in surface wind speed and an increase in surface vapour pressure have also been observed, contributing to 21.6% of the increase in APT and explaining the remaining 11.4%, respectively.