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Open AccessArticle

Spatial and Temporal Characteristics of Precipitation and Potential Influencing Factors in the Loess Plateau before and after the Implementation of the Grain for Green Project

1
College of Water Resources and Architectural Engineering, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
2
Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
3
State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100038, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Momcilo Markus
Water 2021, 13(2), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020234
Received: 19 October 2020 / Revised: 15 January 2021 / Accepted: 17 January 2021 / Published: 19 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Modeling in Water Cycle Processes)
Since the implementation of the Grain for Green Project (GFGP) in the 1990s, the warming and wetting trend in the Loess Plateau is becoming statistically significant in the context of climate change. However, the correlation between precipitation increase and the regional vegetation restoration is still controversial. To explore the main factors influencing the regional precipitation change, this study selected five potential influencing factors including potential evapotranspiration (PET), normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), precipitable water (PW), surface temperature (ST), and water vapor transport (WVT). We used the statistical methods to analyze the spatial-temporal distribution of precipitation before and after the GFGP and to quantify the relative influence degree of different factors to precipitation change. The results show that: (1) The precipitation increased significantly (95% confidence level) after the GFGP, with an increase rate of 4.96 mm a−1; (2) from the perspective of spatial-temporal distribution, the precipitation in the southern part of the Loess plateau was significantly increasing with an increase rate of 20–50 mm in the period of 2000–2014; (3) the relative influence degree of NDVI to precipitation increased after the GFGP, and the annual precipitation (PREA) and summer precipitation (PRES) was more influenced by NDVI (relative influence degree of 30.18% and 31.37%, respectively) compared with winter precipitation. In winter, the PW and the PET are the main influencing factors for the precipitation change with relative influence degrees of 30.13% and 27.64%, respectively. Based on this study, we speculate that the warming and wetting trend of the Loess Plateau in recent years is not only closely related to global climate change, but also significantly affected by local climate change brought by vegetation restoration. The above conclusions are important for future ecological restoration and water resources management in the water-scarce Loess Plateau. View Full-Text
Keywords: grain for green project; precipitation; vegetation restoration; contribution rate; the Loess Plateau grain for green project; precipitation; vegetation restoration; contribution rate; the Loess Plateau
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, J.; Sun, M.; Gao, X.; Zhao, X.; Zhao, Y. Spatial and Temporal Characteristics of Precipitation and Potential Influencing Factors in the Loess Plateau before and after the Implementation of the Grain for Green Project. Water 2021, 13, 234. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020234

AMA Style

Wang J, Sun M, Gao X, Zhao X, Zhao Y. Spatial and Temporal Characteristics of Precipitation and Potential Influencing Factors in the Loess Plateau before and after the Implementation of the Grain for Green Project. Water. 2021; 13(2):234. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020234

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wang, Jichao; Sun, Miao; Gao, Xuerui; Zhao, Xining; Zhao, Yong. 2021. "Spatial and Temporal Characteristics of Precipitation and Potential Influencing Factors in the Loess Plateau before and after the Implementation of the Grain for Green Project" Water 13, no. 2: 234. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020234

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