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Analysis of Precipitation Extremes in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China: Spatio-Temporal Characteristics and Topography Effects

1
Institute of Desertification Studies, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
2
Experimental Center for Desert Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Dengkou 015200, China
3
Desert Ecosystem Research Station, Inner Mongolia State Forestry Administration, Dengkou 015200, China
4
College of Water and Soil Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
5
Laboratoire de Biologie Végétale, Université de Lomé, Lome BP1515, Togo
6
Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2017, 8(7), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8070127
Received: 27 May 2017 / Revised: 11 July 2017 / Accepted: 15 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
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Abstract

Although precipitation extremes exert a major influence on populations and the environment, trend analysis for the entire Qinghai-Tibetan plateau (QTP) has not previously been undertaken. In this study, meteorological data from 83 weather stations was used to analyze the temporal trends and spatial distribution of 10 extreme precipitation indices over the QTP during 1975–2014. The Mann Kendall test and Sen’s slope estimator were used to determine significances and magnitudes of station trends. Spatially, stations recording increasing trends were mainly distributed in the southwestern, central and northern regions. Stations with decreasing trends were centered on the eastern and southeastern areas. Temporally, all indices had an increasing trend except for consecutive dry days (CDD) and consecutive wet days (CWD) during the study period. The contribution of extreme precipitation to total precipitation showed a significant increasing trend. These findings may be due to the complex interaction between the large-scale circulation and topography. In general, the changes of extreme precipitation indicated an enhanced tendency, with the frequency, intensity and amount of heavy precipitation increasing over time. Furthermore, altitude dependency of extreme precipitation does not exist in QTP, with topography effects on changes in precipitation extremes being more obvious in the higher elevation, flat, and hill stations. View Full-Text
Keywords: extreme precipitation; spatiotemporal trend; Qinghai-Tibetan plateau; Mann–Kendall test; Sen’s slope estimator; topography extreme precipitation; spatiotemporal trend; Qinghai-Tibetan plateau; Mann–Kendall test; Sen’s slope estimator; topography
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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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Ge, G.; Shi, Z.; Yang, X.; Hao, Y.; Guo, H.; Kossi, F.; Xin, Z.; Wei, W.; Zhang, Z.; Zhang, X.; Liu, Y.; Liu, J. Analysis of Precipitation Extremes in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China: Spatio-Temporal Characteristics and Topography Effects. Atmosphere 2017, 8, 127.

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