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Attribution of extreme precipitation in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River during May 2016

Li, C., Tian, Q., Yu, R., Zhou, B., Xia, J., Burke, C., Dong, B., Tett, S. F. B., Freychet, N., Lott, F. and Ciavarella, A. (2018) Attribution of extreme precipitation in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River during May 2016. Environmental Research Letters, 13 (1). 014015. ISSN 1748-9326

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aa9691

Abstract/Summary

May 2016 was the third wettest May on record since 1961 over central eastern China based on station observations, with total monthly rainfall 40% more than the climatological mean for 1961–2013. Accompanying disasters such as waterlogging, landslides and debris flow struck part of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. Causal influence of anthropogenic forcings on this event is investigated using the newly updated Met Office Hadley Centre system for attribution of extreme weather and climate events. Results indicate that there is a significant increase in May 2016 rainfall in model simulations relative to the climatological period, but this increase is largely attributable to natural variability. El Nino years have been found to be correlated with extreme rainfall in the Yangtze River region in previous studies—the strong El Nino of 2015–2016 may account for the extreme precipitation event in 2016. However, on smaller spatial scales we find that anthropogenic forcing has likely played a role in increasing the risk of extreme rainfall to the north of the Yangtze and decreasing it to the south.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:74922
Publisher:Institute of Physics

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