Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment

, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 435–444

Spatiotemporal analysis of precipitation trends in the Yangtze River catchment

Original Paper


Precipitation trends in the Yangtze River catchment (PR China) have been analyzed for the past 50 years by applying the Mann-Kendall trend test and geospatial analyses. Monthly precipitation trends of 36 stations have been calculated. Significant positive trends at many stations can be observed for the summer months, which naturally show precipitation maxima. They were preceded and/or followed by negative trends. This observation points towards a concentration of summer precipitation within a shorter period of time. The analysis of a second data set on a gridded basis with 0.5° resolution reveals trends with distinct spatial patterns. The combination of classic trend tests and spatially interpolated precipitation data sets allows the spatiotemporal visualization of detected trends. Months with positive trends emphasize the aggravation of severe situation in a region, which is particularly prone to flood disasters during summer. Reasons for the observed trends were found in variations in the meridional wind pattern at the 850 hPa level, which account for an increased transport of warm moist air to the Yangtze River catchment during the summer months.


East Asian monsoon Precipitation Climate trends Mann-Kendall trend test Yangtze River catchment 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and Urban PlanningUniversity of Wisconsin OshkoshOshkoshUSA
  2. 2.European Commission, DG Joint Research CentreInstitute for the Protection and Security of the CitizenIspraItaly
  3. 3.Nanjing Institute of Geography and LimnologyChinese Academy of SciencesNanjingPeople’s Republic of China

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