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Water 2018, 10(8), 1089; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10081089

Spatiotemporal Variability in Extreme Precipitation in China from Observations and Projections

1
State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Jointly Sponsored by Beijing Normal University and Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100875, China
2
Beijing Engineering Research Center for Global Land Remote Sensing Products, Institute of Remote Sensing Science and Engineering, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
3
College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
4
Division of Environment and Sustainability, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Kowloon 999077, Hong Kong, China
5
State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 July 2018 / Revised: 12 August 2018 / Accepted: 13 August 2018 / Published: 16 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology)
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Abstract

Extreme precipitation events, which have intensified with global warming over the past several decades, will become more intense in the future according to model projections. Although many studies have been performed, the occurrence patterns for extreme precipitation events in past and future periods in China remain unresolved. Additionally, few studies have explained how extreme precipitation events developed over the past 58 years and how they will evolve in the next 90 years as global warming becomes much more serious. In this paper, we evaluated the spatiotemporal characteristics of extreme precipitation events using indices for the frequency, quantity, intensity, and proportion of extreme precipitation, which were proposed by the World Meteorological Organization. We simultaneously analyzed the spatiotemporal characteristics of extreme precipitation in China from 2011 to 2100 using data obtained from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) models. Despite the fixed threshold, 95th percentile precipitation values were also used as the extreme precipitation threshold to reduce the influence of various rainfall events caused by different geographic locations; then, eight extreme precipitation indices (EPIs) were calculated to evaluate extreme precipitation in China. We found that the spatial characteristics of the eight EPIs exhibited downward trends from south to north. In the periods 1960–2017 and 2011–2100, trends in the EPIs were positive, but there were differences between different regions. In the past 58 years, the extreme precipitation increased in the northwest, southeast, and the Tibet Plateau of China, while decreased in northern China. Almost all the trends of EPIs are positive in the next two periods (2011–2055 and 2056–2100) except for some EPIs, such as intensity of extreme precipitation, which decrease in southeastern China in the second period (2056–2100). This study suggests that the frequency of extreme precipitation events in China will progressively increase, which implies that a substantial burden will be placed on social economies and terrestrial ecological processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: extreme precipitation; climatic indices; observations and projections; China extreme precipitation; climatic indices; observations and projections; China
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Peng, Y.; Zhao, X.; Wu, D.; Tang, B.; Xu, P.; Du, X.; Wang, H. Spatiotemporal Variability in Extreme Precipitation in China from Observations and Projections. Water 2018, 10, 1089.

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