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Changes in Precipitation and Drought Extremes over the Past Half Century in China

Institute of Hydrogeology and Environmental Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Shijiazhuang 050061, China
Center for Agricultural Resources Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shijiazhuang 050021, China
Center for Remote Sensing of Natural Resources and Environment, College of Land Resource and Urban and Rural Planning, Hebei GEO University, Shijiazhuang 050031, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 203;
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 9 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Weather and Climate Extremes: Current Developments)
PDF [3655 KB, uploaded 22 April 2019]


Changes in climate extremes have become a hot issue in the research field of climate change recently. Many studies have reported that climate extremes have occurred more frequently and with increasing intensity in recent decades. In this study, thresholds of precipitation and drought extremes were determined by the cumulative distribution function, and their spatiotemporal changes over the past half-century in China were analyzed by relative change rate. The results show that: (1) precipitation extremes increased in all regions except North China, while increasing trends of drought extremes were detected in all regions except Northwest China and the Qing–Tibet Plateau; (2) the maximum change rates in frequency of precipitation extremes were found in Northwest China and the Qing–Tibet Plateau, with values of 16.13% and 8.12%, and the maximum change rates in frequency of drought extremes were in Southwest and Southeast China, whose increases in intensity of drought extremes were also the maximum; (3) variation in precipitation extremes showed a relatively mixed pattern with higher heterogeneity compared to that of drought extremes; and (4) changes in precipitation and drought extremes relate to mid-intensity, lower-intensity, and annual precipitation. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate extremes; thresholds; maximum daily precipitation; consecutive dry days; frequency; intensity climate extremes; thresholds; maximum daily precipitation; consecutive dry days; frequency; intensity

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Liu, M.; Shen, Y.; Qi, Y.; Wang, Y.; Geng, X. Changes in Precipitation and Drought Extremes over the Past Half Century in China. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 203.

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