Spatial and temporal characteristics of changes in precipitation during 1957–2007 in the Haihe River basin, China

  • Weiguang Wang
  • Quanxi Shao
  • Shizhang PengEmail author
  • Zengxin Zhang
  • Wanqiu Xing
  • Guiyang An
  • Bin Yong


The present study explores the spatial and temporal changing patterns of the precipitation in the Haihe River basin of North China during 1957–2007 at annual, seasonal and monthly scales. The Mann–Kendall and Sen’s T tests are employed to detect the trends, and the segmented regression is applied to investigate possible change points. Meanwhile, Sen’s slope estimator is computed to represent the magnitudes of the temporal trends. The regional precipitation trends are also discussed based on the regional index series of four sub-basins in the basin. Serial correlation of the precipitation series is checked prior to the application of the statistical test to ensure the validity of trend detection. Moreover, moisture flux variations based on the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis dataset are investigated to further reveal the possible causes behind the changes in precipitation. The results show that: (1) Although the directions of annual precipitation trends at all stations are downward, only seven stations have significant trends at the 90% confidence level, and these stations are mainly located in the western and southeastern Haihe River basin. (2) Summer is the only season showing a strong downward trend. For the monthly series, significant decreasing trends are mainly found during July, August and November, while significant increasing trends are mostly observed during May and December. In comparison with the annual series, more intensive changes can be found in the monthly series, which may indicate a shift in the precipitation regime. (3) Most shifts from increasing trends to decreasing trends occurred in May–June, July, August and December series, while opposed shifts mainly occurred in November. Summer is the only season displaying strong shift trends and the change points mostly emerged during the late 1970s to early 1980s. (4) An obvious decrease in moisture flux is observed after 1980 in comparison with the observations before 1980. The results of similar changing patterns between monthly moisture budget and precipitation confirmed that large-scale atmospheric circulation may be responsible for the shift in the annual cycle of precipitation in the Haihe River basin. These findings are expected to contribute to providing more accurate results of regional changing precipitation patterns and understanding the underlying linkages between climate change and alterations of hydrological cycles in the Haihe River basin.


Climate change Precipitation Trend analysis Spatial distribution The Haihe River basin China 



This work was supported by the Major State Basic Research Development Program of China (Program 973, 2006CB403400), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51009046, 50839002), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu province (BK2010519) and the Open Research Fund Program of State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Science (2009B053). We thank the National Climatic Centre (NCC) of the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) for providing the valuable meteorological data. We greatly thank Dr. Sacha van Albada from the Jülich Research Centre for writing assistance at the early stage of the manuscript. We would like also express our thanks to the editor-in-chief Professor George Christakos, the associate editor Professor You-Kuan Zhang and two anonymous referees for their valuable comments which greatly improved the quality of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Weiguang Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Quanxi Shao
    • 2
  • Shizhang Peng
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zengxin Zhang
    • 3
  • Wanqiu Xing
    • 1
  • Guiyang An
    • 1
  • Bin Yong
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic EngineeringHohai UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.CSIRO Mathematics, Informatics and StatisticsFloreat ParkAustralia
  3. 3.Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Forestry Ecological EngineeringNanjing Forestry UniversityNanjingChina

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