Special Issue "Variations of Precipitation Extremes in Arid Regions"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydrology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 October 2022 | Viewed by 3290

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Junqiang Yao
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Desert Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Urumqi 830002, China
Interests: climate variability; climate change; extreme climate events; extreme precipitation; drought; moisture cycle; atmospheric water vapor; evapotranspiration
Prof. Dr. Yong Zhao
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Atmospheric Science, Chengdu University of Information Technology, Chengdu 610225, China
Interests: climate dynamics; climate variability; climate modelling; precipitation extreme; Tibet Plateau; arid land

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Global averaged observations indicate an increase in frequency and intensity of precipitation extremes, and changes in precipitation extremes are among the most relevant consequences of global warming, yet there is little consensus on observed and expected changes in arid regions. In arid regions, precipitation extremes may lead to increased risk of flooding or drought, and cause a number of casualties, as well as a tremendous amount of social and financial loss, due to infrastructure is less well-adapted to more extreme events. Climate projections for the 21st century show continued intensification of precipitation extremes in the world’s arid regions. As a result, serious damage is expected in the arid regions, and even small increases in the intensity of extremes can have strong impacts. In addition, change in precipitation extremes will have critical impacts on water resources and cryosphere and biosphere systems in arid regions. This Special Issue of Water focuses on variations of precipitation extremes in arid regions. The topics covered by this Special Issue will include, but not limited to, the following: historical variability and trends in precipitation extremes and their associated mechanisms, future changes in precipitation extremes, application of methods for the evaluation of precipitation extreme events, implications of changes in precipitation extreme events, and impacts on water resources and human–environment systems.

Dr. Junqiang Yao
Prof. Dr. Yong Zhao
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • extreme precipitation
  • extreme weather events
  • droughts
  • floods
  • snowstorm
  • hydro-meteorologic extreme events
  • climate observation and modeling
  • extreme value analysis
  • precipitation variability
  • water cycle

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Changes in Extreme Precipitation on the Tibetan Plateau and Its Surroundings: Trends, Patterns, and Relationship with Ocean Oscillation Factors
Water 2022, 14(16), 2509; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14162509 - 15 Aug 2022
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Abstract
The Tibetan Plateau is among the region’s most sensitive areas to global climate change. The observation data from 113 meteorological stations on the Tibetan Plateau and surrounding regions in China for 1971–2017 were used to analyze the periodic oscillations and trends in precipitation [...] Read more.
The Tibetan Plateau is among the region’s most sensitive areas to global climate change. The observation data from 113 meteorological stations on the Tibetan Plateau and surrounding regions in China for 1971–2017 were used to analyze the periodic oscillations and trends in precipitation and extreme precipitation on multiple time scales to ensemble empirical mode decomposition. The relationship between extreme precipitation and sea-surface temperature (SST) anomalies was also explored. The results were as follows. (1) The timing of extreme-precipitation events in the highlands is consistent, with increased total precipitation and increased frequency, intensity, and extreme values of extreme precipitation. (2) Changes in temperature and precipitation are not completely synchronized. The total extreme precipitation, number of extreme-precipitation days, maximum single-day precipitation, and extreme single-day precipitation intensity all showed increases with fluctuations; the quasi-3-year oscillation contributes the most to the extreme precipitation. PRCPTOT is most strongly correlated with R10 and R95p. (3) The spatiotemporal patterns of the first and second empirical orthogonal function modes of the indices differed significantly and were not spatiotemporally uniform, but exhibited local clustering. (4) The Indian Ocean Warm Pool Strength and Western Pacific Warm Pool Strength indices were most highly correlated with each extreme-precipitation index, and the timings of the extreme-precipitation events lagged behind those of the SST anomalies. This study improves our understanding of extreme precipitation events in the context of climate warming and provides a basic analysis for the further assessment and prediction of extreme precipitation on the Tibetan Plateau and the surrounding ecologically fragile areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Variations of Precipitation Extremes in Arid Regions)
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Article
Climate Drivers Contribute in Vegetation Greening Stalls of Arid Xinjiang, China: An Atmospheric Water Drying Effect
Water 2022, 14(13), 2019; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14132019 - 24 Jun 2022
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Abstract
Xinjiang, an arid region of China, has experienced a substantial warming–wetting trend over the past five decades. However, climate change has affected vegetation growth/greening in arid Central Asia in unexpected ways due to complex ecological effects. We found a significant greening trend (consistent [...] Read more.
Xinjiang, an arid region of China, has experienced a substantial warming–wetting trend over the past five decades. However, climate change has affected vegetation growth/greening in arid Central Asia in unexpected ways due to complex ecological effects. We found a significant greening trend (consistent increase in the normalized difference vegetation index or NDVI) from 1982 to 1996, during the growing season; however, the NDVI consequently decreased and plateaued from 1997 to 2015, especially in naturally vegetated regions. Atmospheric vapor pressure deficit (VPD) is a critical driver of vegetation growth, is a direct measure of atmospheric aridity, and has increased sharply in recent decades. A partial correlation analysis indicated a significant relationship between growing season NDVI and VPD from 1997 to 2015. This implies that decreased VPD corresponds to increasing NDVI, and increasing VPD corresponds to a decrease and plateauing in the NDVI trend. Using the partial derivative equation method, our results suggest that the trend in growing season NDVI was affected primarily by increasing VPD (contributing 87.57%) from 1997 to 2015, especially in the grassland and desert biomes. Rising temperatures lead to a greater VPD, resulting in exacerbated evaporative water loss. Soil drought and atmospheric aridity limit plant stomatal conductance and could effectively lead to a decrease in the greening trend and increased vegetation mortality in arid Xinjiang. Our results emphasize the importance of VPD as a limiting factor of greening trends in arid regions. The influence of VPD on vegetation growth should be considered when evaluating arid ecosystem functioning under global warming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Variations of Precipitation Extremes in Arid Regions)
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Article
A Case Study on Convection Initiation Associated with Horizontal Convective Rolls over Ili River Valley in Xinjiang, Northwest China
Water 2022, 14(7), 1017; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14071017 - 23 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 701
Abstract
The mechanism of convection initiation (CI) over Ili River Valley (IRV) in Xinjiang, Northwest China, was investigated based on both weather stations and radar observations and Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model simulation. Observations showed that many CIs occurred repeatedly, and most of [...] Read more.
The mechanism of convection initiation (CI) over Ili River Valley (IRV) in Xinjiang, Northwest China, was investigated based on both weather stations and radar observations and Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model simulation. Observations showed that many CIs occurred repeatedly, and most of them underwent significant intensification both in size and intensity, and eventually formed an extreme rainfall-producing mesoscale convective system (MCS) in the IRV. Besides, there was a relatively strong boundary layer westerly jet (BLWJJ, horizontal wind speed exceeding 12 m s−1) along with significant cold advection. The overall features of the CIs and associated MCS are generally well reproduced by the WRF simulation. Simulation results showed that there were some horizontal convective rolls (HCRs) developed ahead of the BLWJ and generated significant convergence (up to ~2 × 103 s1) in the low level that further induced intense updraft aloft (vertical velocity exceeding 3.5 m s−1) which finally resulted in the CIs. Further investigations indicated that, as the main contributor to the HCRs, the BLWJ was generated due to the funneling effect when the descending westerlies entered the middle reaches of the IRV. A qualitative analysis based on the quasi-geostrophic omega equation revealed that the descending flow in mid- to lower troposphere in the middle reaches of the IRV was mainly contributed by the vorticity advection, while the descending in the lower troposphere was dominated by both vorticity advection and cold advection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Variations of Precipitation Extremes in Arid Regions)
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Article
Elevation-Dependent Trends in Precipitation Observed over and around the Tibetan Plateau from 1971 to 2017
Water 2021, 13(20), 2848; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202848 - 13 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 679
Abstract
The Tibetan Plateau (TP) are regions that are most sensitive to climate change, especially extreme precipitation changes with elevation, may increase the risk of natural disasters and have attracted attention for the study of extreme events in order to identify adaptive actions. Based [...] Read more.
The Tibetan Plateau (TP) are regions that are most sensitive to climate change, especially extreme precipitation changes with elevation, may increase the risk of natural disasters and have attracted attention for the study of extreme events in order to identify adaptive actions. Based on daily observed data from 113 meteorological stations in the Tibetan Plateau and the surrounding regions in China during 1971–2017, we calculated the annual total precipitation and extreme precipitation indices using the R ClimDex software package and explored elevation-dependent precipitation trends. The results demonstrate that the annual total precipitation increased at a rate of 6.7 mm/decade, and the contribution of extreme precipitation to total precipitation increased over time, and the climate extremes were enhanced. The annual total, seasonal precipitation, and precipitation extreme trends were observed in terms of elevation dependence in the Tibetan Plateau (TP) and the surrounding area of the Tibetan Plateau (TPS) during 1971–2017. There is growing evidence that the elevation-dependent wetting (EDWE) is complex over the TP. The trends in total precipitation have a strong dependence on elevation, and the EDWE is highlighted by the extreme precipitation indices, for example, the number of heavy precipitation days (R10) and consecutive wet days (CWD). The dependence of extreme precipitation on elevation is heterogeneous, as other extreme indices do not indicate EDWE. These findings highlight the precipitation complexity in the TP. The findings of this study will be helpful for improving our understanding of variabilities in precipitation and extreme precipitation in response to climate change and will provide support for water resource management and disaster prevention in plateaus and mountain ranges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Variations of Precipitation Extremes in Arid Regions)
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