Heat and cold stresses in different climate zones across China : A comparison between the 20th and 21st centuries

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1649-1656
Journal / PublicationBuilding and Environment
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


Summer and winter discomfort in terms of heat and cold stresses in the nine major architectural climate zones and sub-zones across China in the 21st century were investigated using predictions from general circulation models for the low and medium emissions scenarios. For the six severe cold and cold climate zones in the north, reductions in cumulative cold stress outweighed the increase in cumulative heat stress resulting in an overall decreasing trend in the annual cumulative stress, and vice versa for the other three warmer climate zones in the south. Compared with the 20th century, significant reduction in the cumulative cold stress was observed across the six zones in severe cold and cold climates, ranging from 15.8 in cold-III to 42.3 in severe cold-II. There were modest increases in the cumulative heat stress from 0.3 in cold-II to 12.3 in cold-III. For the warmer climates in the south, reduction in cumulative cold stress ranged from 7.6 in hot summer and warm winter (HSWW) to 10.3 in hot summer and cold winter, while cumulative heat stress increased from 9.9 in the mild zone to 30.6 in HSWW. A reduction in cold stress would result in less winter heating and an increase in heat stress more cooling requirement. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Research Area(s)

  • 20th and 21st centuries, Built environment, China, Climate change, General circulation models, Heat and cold stresses