Variations in droughts and wet spells and their influences in China: 1924–2013

Abstract

The Wetness Index was calculated using gridded monthly precipitation and potential evapotranspiration in China during 1924–2013. Variations of dry and wet periods in different areas and the impact of meteorological factors were analyzed. The results show the following: (1) Drought areas (W ≤ 0.5) and wet areas (W > 0.65) in China constituted 33–56% and 35–55%, respectively, of the total land area and there were no secular trends during 1924–2013. During this period, the areas of drought and wet were inversely proportional, but had different changes among seven regions. (2) Since 1954, the overall trend in China has changed from wet to dry. Drought areas increased significantly (p < 0.05) during 1954–1983. Drought areas increased (not significantly) during 1984–2013, but the rate of drought/wetness clearly decreased (tendency rates were between − 0.05 and 0.05/30 year, and accounted for 54.79% of China). (3) Dry/wet variation in North, Northeast, Central, and Southwest China played major roles. (4) Except in the North region, drought/wet conditions were affected by surface warming.

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Funding

This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31570473).

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Correspondence to Xiaodong Yan.

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Wu, S., Yan, X. Variations in droughts and wet spells and their influences in China: 1924–2013. Theor Appl Climatol 135, 623–631 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-018-2405-9

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