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《科学通报(英文版)》 2018-18
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Spatiotemporal variations of aridity in China during 1961–2015: decomposition and attribution

Chang Liu;Wei Huang;Song Feng;Jianhui Chen;Aifeng Zhou;Key Laboratory of Western China’s Environmental Systems (Ministry of Education), College of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lanzhou University;Department of Geosciences, University of Arkansas;  
Changes in global climate intensify the hydrological cycle, directly influence precipitation, evaporation,runoff, and cause the re-distribution of water resources in time and space. The aridity index (AI), defined as the ratio of annual precipitation to annual potential evapotranspiration, is a widely used numerical indicator to quantify the degree of dryness at a given location. This study examined the effects of climate change on AI in China during 1961–2015. The results showed that the nationally averaged AI experienced a notable interdecadal transition in 1993, characterized by increasing AI (wetter) between 1961 and 1993,and decreasing AI (drier) after 1993. Overall, the decreased solar radiation (solar dimming) was the main factor affected the nationally averaged AI during 1961–1993, while the relative humidity dominated the variations of nationally averaged AI during 1993–2015. However, the roles of individual factors on the changes in AI vary in different subregions. Precipitation is one of the important contributing factors for the changes of AI in almost all subregions, except the Mid-Lower Yangtze and Huaihe basins. Solar radiation has been significantly decreased during 1961–1993 in South China, Southwest China, Mid-Lower Yangtze and Huaihe basins, and the Tibetan Plateau. Therefore, it dominated the trends of AI in these subregions.The relative humidity mainly affected the Mid-Lower Yangtze and Huaihe basins, Southwest China, and the Tibetan Plateau during 1993–2015, hence dominated the trends of AI in these subregions. The changes of temperature and wind speed, however, played a relatively weak role in the variations of AI.
【Fund】: partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41790424 and 41505043)
【CateGory Index】: P426.616
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