Forced Decadal Changes in Summer Precipitation Characteristics over China: The Roles of Greenhouse Gases and Anthropogenic Aerosols


  • We investigated the decadal changes in the different types of summer mean precipitation over China across the mid-1990s based on observational datasets. The spatial variations in the observed decadal changes were estimated by comparing the present day (PD) time period of 1994–2011 with an earlier period of 1964–1981. The summer total precipitation increased in southern China and decreased in northern China from the early period to the PD. The increases of precipitation in southern China were due to increases in the frequency of heavy and moderate rainfall, whereas the decreases over northern China were mainly due to decreases in the frequency of moderate and light rainfall. Based on a set of numerical experiments using an atmospheric general circulation model coupled with a multilevel mixed-layer ocean model, we found that the increase of precipitation frequency forced by greenhouse gases is the main reason of increasing precipitation over southern and northeastern China, while the decrease of frequency caused by anthropogenic aerosol (AA) induces the decreasing precipitation over northern China. The water vapor flux convergence and water vapor flux strengthen in southern China and northeastern China by anthropogenic greenhouse gases. This distribution is also conducive to precipitation in most of southern China and northeastern China. Under the control of weakened southwesterly winds and 850-hPa divergence, precipitation decreases over northern and southwestern China by AA.
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