Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 77, Issue 1, pp 39–45

Observed monthly precipitation trends in China 1951–2002


  • M. Gemmer
    • Center for International Development and Environmental Research (ZEU)Justus Liebig University
  • S. Becker
    • Department of GeographyJustus Liebig University
  • T. Jiang
    • Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

DOI: 10.1007/s00704-003-0018-3

Cite this article as:
Gemmer, M., Becker, S. & Jiang, T. Theor Appl Climatol (2004) 77: 39. doi:10.1007/s00704-003-0018-3


Monthly precipitation trends of 160 stations in China from 1951–2002 have been analysed and interpolated. The Mann-Kendall trend test was applied to examine the monthly precipitation data. Significant positive and negative trends at the 90, 95, and 99 percent confidence levels were detected for numerous stations. The number, distribution, and direction of the trends varied from month to month.

The detected trends were spatially interpolated by applying the Inverse Distance Weighted (IDW) interpolation method. The spatial presentation of the detected precipitation trends gives a better understanding of climatic changes or variations in China during the last 50 years. This is especially the case for highlighting the spatial structure of precipitation trends.

A clustering of trends is observed in certain months, including distinct trend belts especially in east and north-east China. Nevertheless, positive as well as negative monthly trends can be noted simultaneously in different areas. The spatial interpolation of precipitation trend analysis results is a useful approach to give further understanding of the regional pattern of precipitation trends in China.

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© Springer-Verlag/Wien 2004