Taiwan’s average temperature rose 0.29oC in each of the three 10-year periods from the beginning of the 1990s until 2020, which is higher than the global average increase of 0.21oC, the Central Weather Administration (CWA) said.
From 1898 to 2020, Taiwan’s temperature rose by an average of 0.11 degrees per decade, significantly lower than the 0.29 degrees per decade from 1991 to 2020, the CWA said on Facebook on Tuesday, based on data gathered from its 13 low-elevation weather observation stations.
The 13 stations — all at altitudes below 300m — are in Tamsui (淡水), Keelung, Taipei, Hsinchu, Taichung, Tainan, Kaohsiung, Hengchun (恆春), Yilan, Hualien, Chenggong (成功), Taitung and Dawu (大武).
Moreover, the impact of the western Pacific subtropical high widened and neared the west of Taiwan in the 2010s, reaching as close as China’s Hainan Island, it said, adding that the effects of the circulation system are making the weather hotter.
Asked about the phenomenon, Lo Tzu-ting (羅資婷), head of the CWA’s climate forecasting division, on Wednesday said that previous studies showed that warming is more significant over land than the ocean and that the northern hemisphere is warming faster than the southern hemisphere because of its larger landmass.
East Asia is warming faster than the global average and this is why Taiwan’s average temperature is surging at a faster rate than the world average, Lo added.
The impact of climate change on East Asia has also caused a weakening of the winter northeast monsoon, making temperature increases in winter more notable than those in summer, she said.
Asked about the impact of El Nino this year, Lo said that such weather events typically occur every five to seven years and therefore the long-term statistical impact of El Nino is relatively small.
In terms of rainfall, although there was no significant change in overall annual precipitation in Taiwan, the intensity of extreme rainfall has increased, the CWA said.
Recent CWA observation data showed that there was a decline in spring rains and the number of consecutive wet days decreased in southern Taiwan.
Climate change will gradually affect Taiwan’s rainfall patterns and the country will become drier in the dry season and wetter in the wet season, with fewer consecutive rainy days, a rising number of consecutive non-rainy days and an increasing number of extreme precipitation events during the plum rain season, the agency said.
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