Decreasing precipitation occurs in daily extreme precipitation intervals across China in observations and model simulations


Extreme precipitation response to increasing temperature includes not only changes of frequency and intensity, but also changes of extreme precipitation interval (EPIV) and the precipitation during the neighboring daily extreme precipitations interval (EPIP). These changes have not been fully evaluated yet in observations or climate model simulations although they are very useful to understand variations of extreme precipitation. We used daily precipitation data from 669 meteorological stations during the past five decades across China and projections of 19 general circulation models from CMIP5 under the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios to investigate variations of EPIV and EPIP. We found the national average annual EPIV increased across China during the last five decades, while annual EPIP significantly decreased. The decreases mainly occurred in southwest China, east China, and southeast China. At national and regional scales, the average annual EPIV and EPIP showed greater decreases under the RCP8.5 scenario than those under the RCP4.5 scenario from 2006 to 2100. Annual EPIP showed a stronger correlation with extreme precipitation intensity than EPIV. The national average annual EPIP had a significant positive correlation with the Western Pacific Subtropical High Area Index. The abnormal geopotential heights over western Mongolia and the western Pacific at 500 hpa as well as the abnormal SSTs in Japan Sea and the western of Pacific in rainy seasons would result in abnormal annual EPIVs and EPIPs in China. This study may provide references for flooding prediction, water resources management, and disaster prevention and mitigation.

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The study is jointly supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2019YFC0409101), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41801081, U19A2023, and 41871045), the Natural Science Foundation of Jilin Province, China (20190103153JH, 20170101013JC, and 20190201119JC), the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Y7H7031001), and the key laboratory project of wetland ecology and environment, Chinese academy of sciences (O9B3017001).

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Correspondence to Wen J. Wang.

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Wang, L., Wang, W.J., Du, H. et al. Decreasing precipitation occurs in daily extreme precipitation intervals across China in observations and model simulations. Clim Dyn 54, 2597–2612 (2020).

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  • Extreme precipitation
  • Interval
  • Frequency
  • Intensity
  • Climate change scenarios
  • China