Trends in temperature and rainfall extremes in the Yellow River source region, China
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Spatial and temporal changes in daily temperature and rainfall indices are analyzed for the source region of Yellow River. Three periods are examined: 1960–1990, 1960–2000 and 1960–2006. Significant warming trends have been observed for the whole study region over all the three periods, particularly over the period 1960–2006. This warming is mainly attributed to a significant increase in the minimum temperature, and characterized by pronounced changes in the low temperature events composing a significant increase in the magnitude and a significant decrease in the frequency. In contrast to the temperature indices, no significant changes have been observed in the rainfall indices at the majority of stations. However, the rainfall shows noticeable increasing trends during winter and spring from a basin-wide point of view. Conversely, the frequency and contribution of moderately heavy rainfall events to total rainfall show a significant decreasing trend in summer. To conclude, this study shows that over the past 40–45 years the source region of the Yellow River has become warmer and experienced some seasonally varying changes in rainfall, which also supports an emerging global picture of warming and the prevailing positive trends in winter rainfall extremes over the mid-latitudinal land areas of the Northern Hemisphere.
KeywordsTibetan Plateau Rainfall Extreme Diurnal Temperature Range Yellow River Basin Heavy Rainfall Event
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