Variations in extreme precipitation on the Loess Plateau using a high-resolution dataset and their linkages with atmospheric circulation indices
Assessing regional patterns and trends in extreme precipitation is crucial for facilitating flood control and drought adaptation because extreme climate events have more damaging impacts on society and ecosystems than simple shifts in the mean values. In this study, we employed daily precipitation data from 231 climate stations spanning 1961 to 2014 to explore the changes in precipitation extremes on the Loess Plateau, China. Nine of the 12 extreme precipitation indices suggested decreasing trends, and only the annual total wet-day precipitation (PRCPTOT) and R10 declined significantly: − 0.69 mm/a and − 0.023 days/a at the 95% confidence level. The spatial patterns in all of the extreme precipitation indices indicated mixed trends on the Loess Plateau, with decreasing trends in the precipitation extremes at the majority of the stations examined in the Fen-Wei River valley and high-plain plateau. Most of extreme precipitation indices suggested apparent regional differences, whereas R25 and R20 had spatially similar patterns on the Loess Plateau, with many stations revealing no trends. In addition, we found a potential decreasing trend in rainfall amounts and rainy days and increasing trends in rainfall intensities and storm frequencies in some regions due to increasing precipitation events in recent years. The relationships between extreme rainfall events and atmospheric circulation indices suggest that the weakening trend in the East Asia summer monsoon has limited the northward extension of the rainfall belt to northern China, thereby leading to a decrease in rainfall on the Loess Plateau.
The study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51509206, 41271295, and 41671279), the National Key Scientific Research Project (2016YFC0402401), the Governmental Public Industry Research Special Funds for Projects (201501049), and the Special Funds of Scientific Research Programs of the State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau (A314021403-Q2). The authors would like to thank the National Climatic Center and the Hydrology Bureau of the Yellow River Water Resources Commission for providing valuable climatic and hydrological data. The authors also thank the reviewers for their valuable comments, which greatly improved the quality of this manuscript.
- Alexander LV, Zhang X, Peterson TC et al. (2006) Global observed changes in daily climate extremes of temperature and precipitation. J Geophys Res Atmos 111:1042–1063Google Scholar
- Fang Z, Hang D, Xinyi Z (2010) Rainfall regime in Three Gorges area in China and the control factors. Int J Climatol 30:1396–1406Google Scholar
- Kajikawa Y, Wang B (2007) Monsoon monitoring page. Access 2015, 6,12Google Scholar
- Kendall MG (ed) (1975) Rank correlation methods. Charles Griffin, LondonGoogle Scholar
- Li ZX, He YQ, Wang PY et al (2012) Changes of daily climate extremes in southwestern China during 1961-2008 Global Planet. Change 80-81:255–272Google Scholar
- Wang FT, Liu WQ (2003) Preliminary study of climate vulnerability of agroproduction in the Loess Plateau. Clim Environ Res 8:91–100Google Scholar
- Wang YQ, Zhou L (2005) Observed trends in extreme precipitation events in China during 1961–2001 and the associated changes in large-scale circulation. Geophys Res Lett 32. https://doi.org/10.1029/2005GL022574
- Yue S, Wang CY (2004) The Mann-Kendall test modified by effective sample size to detect trend in serially correlated hydrological series. Water Resour Manag 18:201–218. https://doi.org/10.1023/B:Warm.0000043140.61082.60 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Zhang X, Yang F (2004) RClimDex (1.0) User Manual. Climate Research Branch, Environment Canada, OntarioGoogle Scholar
- Zhao GJ, Mu XM, Jiao JY, An ZF, Klik A, Wang F, Jiao F, Yue XL, Gao P, Sun WY (2016a) Evidence and causes of spatiotemporal changes in runoff and sediment yield on the Chinese loess plateau. Land Degrad Dev. https://doi.org/10.1002/ldr.2534
- Zhao GJ, Kondolf GM, Mu XM, Han MW, He Z, Rubin Z, Wang F, Gao P, Sun WY (2016b) Sediment yield reduction associated with land use changes and check dams in a catchment of the Loess Plateau, China. Catena. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2016.05.010
- Zhou LT, Huang RH (2010) Interdecadal variability of summer rainfall in Northwest China and its possible causes. Int J Climatol 30:549–557Google Scholar
- Zhu XH (1999) The research on characteristics of flood from 1840 to 1996 in China. (In Chinese). J Catastrophol 14:7–12Google Scholar