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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 6718729, 14 pages
Research Article

A Comparison of Thermal Growing Season Indices for the Northern China during 1961–2015

Linli Cui,1,2 Jun Shi,2,3 and Yue Ma3

1Shanghai Satellite Remote-Sensing and Application Centre, Shanghai 200030, China
2Shanghai Key Laboratory of Meteorology and Health, Shanghai 200030, China
3Shanghai Climate Center, Shanghai Meteorological Bureau, Shanghai 200030, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Linli Cui

Received 26 February 2017; Revised 20 May 2017; Accepted 28 May 2017; Published 27 July 2017

Academic Editor: Nir Y. Krakauer

Copyright © 2017 Linli Cui et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Vegetation phenology is one of the most direct and sensitive indicators of terrestrial ecosystem in response to climate change. Based on daily mean air temperature at 877 meteorological stations over northern China from 1961 to 2015, the correlations and differences for different definitions of the growing season parameters (start, end, and length of the growing season) were investigated, and results show that higher correlations of 0.81–0.93 are found when indices which do not consider frost are compared with those of the same length which include the frost criteria, and lower correlations of 0.63–0.79 are observed when the length of indices is different and one of the indices includes the frost criteria or EI 3 (10 d < 5°C) is included. Lower correlations and larger differences are generally observed in the eastern and northwestern parts while higher correlation and smaller difference appeared in the northeastern and southwestern parts of northern China; thus the applicability comparison and selection of different definitions have important influence on the identifying and counting of the timing and length of the growing season in the eastern and northwestern regions of northern China.