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An abrupt rainfall decrease over the Asian inland plateau region around 1999 and the possible underlying mechanism

Authors
  • Piao, Jinling
  • Chen, Wen
  • Wei, Ke
  • Liu, Yong
  • Graf, Hans-F.
  • Ahn, Joong-Bae
  • Pogoreltsev, Alexander
Type
Published Article
Journal
Advances in Atmospheric Sciences
Publisher
Science Press
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2017
Volume
34
Issue
4
Pages
456–468
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00376-016-6136-5
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

A decadal change in summer rainfall in the Asian inland plateau (AIP) region is identified around 1999. This decadal change is characterized by an abrupt decrease in summer rainfall of about 15.7% of the climatological average amount, leading to prolonged drought in the Asian inland plateau region. Both the surface air temperature and potential evapotranspiration in the AIP show a significant increase, while the soil moisture exhibits a decrease, after the late 1990s. Furthermore, the normalized difference vegetation index shows an apparent decreasing trend during 1999–2007. Three different drought indices—the standardized precipitation index, the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index, and the self-calibrating Palmer drought severity index—present pronounced climate anomalies during 1999–2007, indicating dramatic drought exacerbation in the region after the late 1990s. This decadal change in the summer rainfall may be attributable to a wave-like teleconnection pattern from Western Europe to Asia. A set of model sensitivity experiments suggests that the summer warming sea surface temperature in the North Atlantic could induce this teleconnection pattern over Eurasia, resulting in recent drought in the AIP region.

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