Spatiotemporal variability analysis of diffuse radiation in China during 1981–2010
Solar radiation is the primary driver of terrestrial plant photosynthesis and the diffuse component can enhance canopy light use efficiency (LUE), which in turn influences the carbon balance of terrestrial ecosystems. In this study we calculated the spatial data of diffuse radiation in China from 1981 to 2010, using a radiation decomposition model and spatial interpolation method based on observational data. Furthermore, we explored the spatiotemporal characteristics of diffuse radiation using GIS and trend analysis techniques. The results show the following: (1) The spatial patterns of perennial average of annual diffuse radiation during 1981–2010 are complex and inhomogeneous in China, generally lower in the north and higher in the south and west. The perennial average ranges from 1730.20 to 3064.41 MJ m −2 yr −1 across the whole country. (2) There is an increasing trend of annual diffuse radiation in China from 1981 to 2010 on the whole, with mean increasing amplitude of 7.03 MJ m −2 yr −1 per decade. Whereas a significant downtrend was observed in the first 10 years, distinct anomalies in 1982, 1983, 1991 and 1992 occurred due to the eruptions of El Chinchon and Pinatubo. (3) The spatial distribution of the temporal variability of diffuse radiation showed significant regional heterogeneity in addition to the seasonal differences. Northwestern China has the most evident downtrend, with highest decreasing rate of 6% per decade, while the Tibetan Plateau has the most evident uptrend, with highest increasing rate of up to 9% per decade. Such quantitative spatiotemporal characteristics of diffuse radiation are essential in regional scale modeling of terrestrial carbon dynamics.