Apr 27, 2013

Long‐term changes in total and extreme precipitation over China and the United States and their links to oceanic–atmospheric features

Wang, Fang, Yang, Song, Higgins, Wayne, Li, Qiaoping, Zuo, Zhiyan
International Journal of Climatology
  • Investigates the variations of total and extreme precipitations over China and the United States, focusing on long-term changes
  • Explains the features of precipitation by changes in sea surface temperature (SST) and atmospheric circulation
  • Finds that features of total precipitation and the ratio of extreme to total precipitation are different between China and the United States, and differences occur in both annual and seasonal means
  • Finds that:
    • In China:
      • The total precipitation and the precipitation ratio show large seasonal and regional variations
      • China's annual total precipitation changes insignificantly and the ratio shows only a slight positive trend
      • The ratio exhibits positive trends in all seasons
      • Total precipitation shows small positive trends except a negative trend in fall
      • The change in China precipitation ratio has a strong link to SSTs around the Indian Ocean and the South and East China Seas
    • In the US: 
      • The total precipitation and the precipitation ratio change modestly over the United States
      • The US annual total precipitation increases significantly, although the ratio decreases moderately
      • Total precipitation increases remarkably in all seasons except winter when a slight decrease occurs
      • The ratio decreases in winter and summer but increases in spring and fall
      • The change in US total precipitation is associated with changes in the Indian Ocean and eastern Pacific SSTs
  • Finds that the trends of US total precipitation and China precipitation ratio are also linked to the long-term changes in atmospheric circulation including the trade wind, the North Pacific anticyclone, and the circulation patterns over Asia
  • Finds that in most cases, the total and extreme precipitations are associated with similar SST and atmospheric patterns, except in China where the annual extreme precipitation is associated with SST and circulation features as is the precipitation ratio