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Open AccessArticle

Changes in Reference Evapotranspiration over Southwest China during 1960–2018: Attributions and Implications for Drought

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Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
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Department of Environment and Resources, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
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CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing 100101, China
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National Engineering Laboratory for Efficient Utilization of Soil and Fertilizer Resources, Key Laboratory of Agricultural Environment in Universities of Shandong, College of Resources and Environment, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian 271018, China
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School of Land Science and Technology, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(11), 705; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10110705
Received: 25 August 2019 / Revised: 9 November 2019 / Accepted: 10 November 2019 / Published: 13 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Biosphere/Hydrosphere/Land–Atmosphere Interactions)
Reference evapotranspiration (ET0) is important to the global energy balance and to hydrological cycling. However, the extent to which ET0 changes, the main driving factors, and especially the implications of its shift for drought in Southwest China are not clear. In this study, trends in Penman–Monteith ET0 and other climatic parameters at 79 stations in Southwest China from 1960 to 2018 were investigated by using the Mann–Kendall test. Furthermore, partial correlation analysis and multiple linear regression were used to determine the dominant climate driving factors in changes in ET0. The relative contribution of precipitation and ET0 to drought duration was also quantified based on spatial multiple linear regression. Results revealed that annual ET0 decreased significantly (p < 0.01) at a rate of 14.1 mm per decade from 1960 to 2000, and this decrease disappeared around 2000. For the entire study period, the sunshine duration (Tsun) was the most closely correlated with and played a dominant role in the variations in ET0 at both annual and seasonal (summer and autumn) timescales, whereas the relative humidity was the most dominant factor in the spring and winter. Trends in the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index revealed that drought has become more serious in Southwest China, and ET0 has made a greater contribution to the duration of drought than precipitation. Our findings highlight that more attention should be paid to the impacts of ET0 changes on drought in Southwest China. Furthermore, these results can provide a reference for the allocation of water resources and the implementation of countermeasures to climate change. View Full-Text
Keywords: climatic parameters; reference evapotranspiration; dominant factors; drought duration; Southwest China climatic parameters; reference evapotranspiration; dominant factors; drought duration; Southwest China
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Zeng, Z.; Wu, W.; Zhou, Y.; Li, Z.; Hou, M.; Huang, H. Changes in Reference Evapotranspiration over Southwest China during 1960–2018: Attributions and Implications for Drought. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 705.

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