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Exploring the interplay between natural decadal variability and anthropogenic climate change in summer rainfall over China. Part I: Observational evidence

Lei, Y., Hoskins, B. and Slingo, J. (2011) Exploring the interplay between natural decadal variability and anthropogenic climate change in summer rainfall over China. Part I: Observational evidence. Journal of Climate, 24 (17). pp. 4584-4599. ISSN 1520-0442

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1175/2010JCLI3794.1

Abstract/Summary

Summer rainfall over China has experienced substantial variability on longer time scales during the last century, and the question remains whether this is due to natural, internal variability or is part of the emerging signal of anthropogenic climate change. Using the best available observations over China, the decadal variability and recent trends in summer rainfall are investigated with the emphasis on changes in the seasonal evolution and on the temporal characteristics of daily rainfall. The possible relationships with global warming are reassessed. Substantial decadal variability in summer rainfall has been confirmed during the period 1958–2008; this is not unique to this period but is also seen in the earlier decades of the twentieth century. Two dominant patterns of decadal variability have been identified that contribute substantially to the recent trend of southern flooding and northern drought. Natural decadal variability appears to dominate in general but in the cases of rainfall intensity and the frequency of rainfall days, particularly light rain days, then the dominant EOFs have a rather different character, being of one sign over most of China, and having principal components (PCs) that appear more trendlike. The increasing intensity of rainfall throughout China and the decrease in light rainfall days, particularly in the north, could at least partially be of anthropogenic origin, both global and regional, linked to increased greenhouse gases and increased aerosols.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:29714
Uncontrolled Keywords:Decadal variability, Rainfall, Asia, Anthropogenic effects, Trends, Aerosols
Publisher:American Meteorological Society

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