Wind erosion is a major cause of soil losses in China’s drylands which is further stimulated by climate variability and fragile ecological conditions. Climatic erosivity is an important index of wind erosion, therefore, evaluation of its spatiotemporal variations and relationship with the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) will provide a theoretical basis for the comprehensive management and prevention of soil erosion. In this study, by using the climatic erosivity equation, geographic information system (GIS) and geostatistical analysis, we quantified the climatic erosivity, explored its spatiotemporal variations, and detected the effects of the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) on climatic erosivity in the Otindag Desert during the period of 1980–2016. The results indicated that the climatic erosivity (C-factor value) ranged from 82–445, and it decreased from the western margin to the eastern margin of the desert. The climatic erosivity showed a significant downward trend at seasonal and annual scales (p
< 0.05). As far as spring, autumn and annual climatic erosivity, the whole region showed a downward trend, however, the summer and winter climatic erosivity varied spatially, in which the central and western regions showed a downward trend, but the eastern region showed an upward trend. The results showed that the average climatic erosivity is weaker during La Niña events than during El Niño events. The climatic erosivity recorded by 14 of the 20 meteorological stations, all located in central and west regions, exhibited a significant correlation with MEI (p
< 0.05). The ENSO has a significant impact on climatic erosivity.
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