Last updated October 10, 2018

Trends of extreme precipitation in eastern China and their possible causes

  • States that significant increases of heavy precipitation and decreases of light precipitation have been reported over widespread regions of the globe, and that global warming and effects of anthropogenic aerosols have both been proposed as possible causes of these changes
  • Examines data from urban and rural meteorological stations in eastern China (1955–2011) and compares them with Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) data (1979–2007) and reanalysis data in various latitude zones to study changes in precipitation extremes
  • Finds significant decreases in light precipitation and increases in heavy precipitation at both rural and urban stations, as well as low latitudes over the ocean
  • Finds that total precipitation shows little change
  • Holds that characteristics of these changes and changes in the equatorial zone and other latitudes suggest that global warming rather than aerosol effects is the primary cause of the changes
  • Finds that in eastern China, increases of annual total dry days (28 days) and ≥10 consecutive dry days (36%) are due to the decrease in light precipitation days, thereby establishing a causal link among global warming, changes in precipitation extremes, and higher meteorological risk of floods and droughts
  • Finds that results derived from the GPCP data and reanalysis data suggest that the causal link exists over widespread regions of the globe