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An Overview of Dry-wet Climate Variability among Monsoon-Westerly Regions and the Monsoon Northernmost Marginal Active Zone in China


doi: 10.1007/s00376-009-8213-5

  • Climate in mainland China can be divided into the monsoon region in the southeast and the westerly region in the northwest as well as the intercross zone, i.e., the monsoon northernmost marginal active zone that is oriented from Southwest China to the upper Yellow River, North China, and Northeast China. In the three regions, dry-wet climate changes are directly linked to the interaction of the southerly monsoon flow on the east side of the Tibetan Plateau and the westerly flow on the north side of the Plateau from the inter-annual to inter-decadal timescales. Some basic features of climate variability in the three regions for the last half century and the historical hundreds of years are reviewed in this paper. In the last half century, an increasing trend of summer precipitation associated with the enhancing westerly flow is found in the westerly region from Xinjiang to northern parts of North China and Northeast China. On the other hand, an increasing trend of summer precipitation along the Yangtze River and a decreasing trend of summer precipitation along the monsoon northernmost marginal active zone are associated with the weakening monsoon flow in East Asia. Historical documents are widely distributed in the monsoon region for hundreds of years and natural climate proxies are constructed in the non-monsoon region, while two types of climate proxies can be commonly found over the monsoon northernmost marginal active zone. In the monsoon region, dry-wet variation centers are altered among North China, the lower Yangtze River, and South China from one century to another. Dry or wet anomalies are firstly observed along the monsoon northernmost marginal active zone and shifted southward or southeastward to the Yangtze River valley and South China in about a 70-year timescale. Severe drought events are experienced along the monsoon northernmost marginal active zone during the last 5 centuries. Inter-decadal dry-wet variations are depicted by natural proxies for the last 4--5 centuries in several areas over the non-monsoon region. Some questions, such as the impact of global warming on dry-wet regime changes in China, complex interactions between the monsoon and westerly flows in Northeast China, and the integrated multi-proxy analysis throughout all of China, are proposed.
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Manuscript received: 10 July 2009
Manuscript revised: 10 July 2009
通讯作者: 陈斌, bchen63@163.com
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An Overview of Dry-wet Climate Variability among Monsoon-Westerly Regions and the Monsoon Northernmost Marginal Active Zone in China

  • 1. Monsoon and Environment Research Group, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871,Monsoon and Environment Research Group, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871,Monsoon and Environment Research Group, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871,Monsoon and Environment Research Group, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871,Monsoon and Environment Research Group, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871

Abstract: Climate in mainland China can be divided into the monsoon region in the southeast and the westerly region in the northwest as well as the intercross zone, i.e., the monsoon northernmost marginal active zone that is oriented from Southwest China to the upper Yellow River, North China, and Northeast China. In the three regions, dry-wet climate changes are directly linked to the interaction of the southerly monsoon flow on the east side of the Tibetan Plateau and the westerly flow on the north side of the Plateau from the inter-annual to inter-decadal timescales. Some basic features of climate variability in the three regions for the last half century and the historical hundreds of years are reviewed in this paper. In the last half century, an increasing trend of summer precipitation associated with the enhancing westerly flow is found in the westerly region from Xinjiang to northern parts of North China and Northeast China. On the other hand, an increasing trend of summer precipitation along the Yangtze River and a decreasing trend of summer precipitation along the monsoon northernmost marginal active zone are associated with the weakening monsoon flow in East Asia. Historical documents are widely distributed in the monsoon region for hundreds of years and natural climate proxies are constructed in the non-monsoon region, while two types of climate proxies can be commonly found over the monsoon northernmost marginal active zone. In the monsoon region, dry-wet variation centers are altered among North China, the lower Yangtze River, and South China from one century to another. Dry or wet anomalies are firstly observed along the monsoon northernmost marginal active zone and shifted southward or southeastward to the Yangtze River valley and South China in about a 70-year timescale. Severe drought events are experienced along the monsoon northernmost marginal active zone during the last 5 centuries. Inter-decadal dry-wet variations are depicted by natural proxies for the last 4--5 centuries in several areas over the non-monsoon region. Some questions, such as the impact of global warming on dry-wet regime changes in China, complex interactions between the monsoon and westerly flows in Northeast China, and the integrated multi-proxy analysis throughout all of China, are proposed.

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