Climate Change Research ›› 2019, Vol. 15 ›› Issue (3): 257-269.doi: 10.12006/j.issn.1673-1719.2018.135

• Changes in Climate System • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial and temporal variations in summer precipitation over the semi-arid region of northern China during 1960-2016 and their links with atmospheric circulation

Jie LIU1,2,Ning-Lian WANG1,2,Ting HUA3   

  1. 1 Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Earth Surface System and Environmental Carrying Capacity, College of Urban and Environmental Science, Northwest University, Xi’an 710027, China
    2 Institute of Earth Surface System and Hazards, Northwest University, Xi’an 710027, China
    3 Key Laboratory of Desert and Desertification, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources,Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2018-10-09 Revised:2019-01-12 Online:2019-05-30 Published:2019-06-06


Based on precipitation observations from meteorological stations, the spatial and temporal variations of precipitation in the semi-arid region of northern China during 1960-2016 were analyzed by using EOF method. The research showed that the dominant spatial modes of summer precipitation in semi-arid region of northern China from 1960 to 2016 could be summarized as the regional in-phase type and the sub-regional out-of-phase type. The time series of regional in-phase type showed that the summer precipitation in semi-arid region generally decreased from 1960 to 2016, but the decrease trend in August was more remarkable than that in July. The sub-regional out-of-phase type showed that the interannual variability of precipitation in July and August was relatively small, but the inter-decadal variability was larger. The correlation analysis between the regional in-phase type time coefficients and the atmospheric circulation as well as water vapor transport variables showed that the Eurasian teleconnection and the mid-latitudes westerlies are closely correlated with the precipitation variations in July, while the Western Pacific Subtropical High (WPSH) is the main factor affecting the interannual variations of August precipitation in the semi-arid region. The correlation analysis of sub-regional out-of-phase type time coefficients showed that when the anticyclonic circulation controls the semi-arid northern China, it is easy to form a distribution pattern with more precipitation in the west and relatively lower precipitation in the east of the semi-arid area in northern China.

Key words: Semi-arid region, Precipitation, Atmospheric circulation, Water vapor transport, Spatial and temporal variations

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