Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 106, Issue 3–4, pp 481–488 | Cite as

Inter-decadal variability of summer rainfall in Eastern China detected by the Lepage test

  • Yong Liu
  • Gang HuangEmail author
  • Ronghui Huang
Original Paper


On the basis of the latest observational datasets, the inter-decadal changes of summer rainfall in East China in the past 50 years are analyzed using the Lepage test. The two traditional methods moving t-test and Mann-Kendall test are also performed on the rainfall data as a comparison. Results indicate four inter-decadal abrupt changes of summer rainfall that occurred near 1979, 1983, 1993, and 1999, and each of them is characterized by remarkable regional features. The abrupt change of summer rainfall around 1979 is accompanied by significant rainfall increase in Yangtze–Huai River Valley and a decrease in its flank. The one near 1983 shows similar structures of the rainfall changes to that near 1979, but with more significant changes in the South China and Northeast China (NEC). The inter-decadal change around 1993 brings a notable increase of summer rainfall to the South China; and the abrupt shift near 1999 exhibits significant decrease in summer rainfall over a large part of North China and NEC. The spatial–temporal features of the inter-decadal changes in summer rainfall are also investigated. Consistent results are observed. Moreover, results indicate that, on the inter-decadal scale, the rainfall variability mode changes from typical tripole to dipole structure since the early 1990s.


Summer Rainfall East Asian Summer Monsoon Western North Pacific Rainfall Change Shift Period 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors are grateful to Dr. Jinbao Li and two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments that led to a significant improvement of the manuscript. This work was supported by the CAS Innovation Key Program (Grant No. KZCX2-YW-BR-14), the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Projects) under Grant Nos. 2010CB95043 and 2009CB421405, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 40890155, 40775051 and U7033002).


  1. Bond N, Overland J, Spillane M, Stabeno P (2003) Recent shifts in the state of the North Pacific. Geophys Res Lett 30(23):2183. doi: 10.1029/2003GL018597 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chang CP, Zhang Y, Li T (2000) Interannual and interdecadal variations of the East Asian summer monsoon and Tropical Pacific SSTs. Part I: roles of the subtropical ridge. J Climate 13:4310–4325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen L, Wu R (2000) Interannual and decadal variations of snow cover over Qinghai–Xizang Plateau and their relationships to summer monsoon rainfall in China. Adv Atmos Sci 17:18–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chen L, Dong M, Shao Y (1992) The characteristics of interannual variations on the East Asian monsoon. J Meteorol Soc Jpn 70(1B):397–421Google Scholar
  5. Chen TC, Wang SY, Huang WR, Yen MC (2004) Variation of the East Asian summer monsoon rainfall. J Climate 17(4):744–762CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Deser C, Phillips AS, Hurrell JW (2004) Pacific interdecadal climate variability: linkages between the tropics and the North Pacific during boreal winter since 1900. J Climate 17:3109–3124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ding YH, Chan JCL (2005) The East Asian summer monsoon: an overview. Meteorol Atmos Phys 89(1–4):117–142. doi: 10.1007/s00703-005-0125-z Google Scholar
  8. Ding YH, Wang ZY, Sun Y (2008) Inter-decadal variation of the summer precipitation in East China and its association with decreasing Asian summer monsoon. Part I: observed evidences. Int J Climatol 28(9):1139–1161. doi: 10.1002/Joc.1615 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ding Y, Sun Y, Wang Z, Zhu Y, Song Y (2009) Inter-decadal variation of the summer precipitation in China and its association with decreasing Asian summer monsoon. Part II: possible causes. Int J Climatol 29(13):1926–1944CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gong DY, Ho CH (2002) Shift in the summer rainfall over the Yangtze River valley in the late 1970s. Geophys Res Lett 29(10):doi: 10.1029/2001gl014523 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hirakawa K (1974) The comparison of powers of distribution-free two-sample tests. TRU Mathematics 10:65–82Google Scholar
  12. Hu ZZ (1997) Interdecadal variability of summer climate over East Asia and its association with 500 hPa height and global sea surface temperature. J Geophys Res 102(D16):19403–19412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hu ZZ, Yang S, Wu R (2003) Long-term climate variations in China and global warming signals. J Geophys Res 108(D19):4614. doi: 10.1029/2003JD003651 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Huang RH, Xu YH, Zhou LT (1999) The interdecadal variation of summer precipitation in China and the drought trend in North China. Plateau Meteorology 18(004):465–476Google Scholar
  15. Huang RH, Zhou LT, Chen W (2003) The progresses of recent studies on the variabilities of the East Asian monsoon and their causes. Adv Atmos Sci 20(1):55–69Google Scholar
  16. Huang G, Hu K, Xie SP (2010) Strengthening of tropical Indian Ocean teleconnection to the Northwest Pacific since the mid-1970s: an atmospheric GCM study. J Climate 23(19):5294–5304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Huang G, Liu Y, Huang R (2011) The interannual variability of summer rainfall in the arid and semiarid regions of Northern China and its association with the northern hemisphere circumglobal teleconnection. Adv Atmos Sci 28(2):257–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Inoue T, Matsumoto J (2007) Abrupt climate changes observed in late August over central Japan between 1983 and 1984. J Climate 20:4957–4967CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ju J, Slingo J (1995) The Asian summer monsoon and ENSO. Q J Roy Meteorol Soc 121(525):1133–1168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kendall M (1975) Rank correlation measures. Charles Griffin, LondonGoogle Scholar
  21. Kwon MH, Jhun JG, Wang B, An SI, Kug JS (2005) Decadal change in relationship between east Asian and WNP summer monsoons. Geophys Res Lett 32:L16709. doi: 10.1029/2005GL023026 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kwon M, Jhun JG, Ha KJ (2007) Decadal change in east Asian summer monsoon circulation in the mid-1990s. Geophys Res Lett 34(21):doi: 10.1029/2007gl031977 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lepage Y (1971) A combination of Wilcoxon’s and Ansari–Bradley’s statistics. Biometrika 58(1):213–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Li T, Zhang Y, Chang CP, Wang B (2001) On the relationship between Indian Ocean sea surface temperature and Asian summer monsoon. Geophys Res Lett 28(14):2843–2846CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Li C, Jinhai H, Jinhong Z (2004) A review of decadal/interdecadal climate variation studies in China. Adv Atmos Sci 21(3):425–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Litzow MA (2006) Climate regime shifts and community reorganization in the Gulf of Alaska: how do recent shifts compare with 1976/1977? ICES J Mar Sci 63:1386–1396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ma ZG (2007) The interdecadal trend and shift of dry/wet over the central part of North China and their relationship to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Chin Sci Bull 52(15):2130–2139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mann HB (1945) Nonparametric tests against trend. Econometrica 13:245–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mantua NJ, Hare SR (2002) The Pacific decadal oscillation. J Oceanogr 58(1):35–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mantua N, Hare S, Zhang Y, Wallace J, Francis R (1997) A Pacific interdecadal climate oscillation with impacts on salmon production. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 78:1069–1079CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Nitta T, Hu ZZ (1996) Summer climate variability in China and its association with 500 hPa height and tropical convection. J Meteorol Soc Jpn 74(4):425–445Google Scholar
  32. Overland J, Rodionov S, Minobe S, Bond N (2008) North Pacific regime shifts: definitions, issues and recent transitions. Prog Oceanogr 77:92–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Peterson WT, Schwing FB (2003) A new climate regime in northeast Pacific ecosystems. Geophys Res Lett 30(17):1896. doi: 10.1029/2003GL017528 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Qian WH, Qin A (2008) Precipitation division and climate shift in China from 1960 to 2000. Theor Appl Climatol 93:1–17. doi: 10.1007/s00704-007-0330-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Shen C, Wang WC, Gong W, Hao Z (2006) A Pacific Decadal Oscillation record since 1470 a.d. reconstructed from proxy data of summer rainfall over eastern China. Geophys Res Lett 33:03702. doi: 10.1029/2005GL024804 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Shi Y, Shen Y, Kang E, Li D, Ding Y, Zhang G, Hu R (2007) Recent and future climate change in northwest China. Clim Change 80(3):379–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Tu K, Yan Z, Dong W (2010) Climatic jumps in precipitation and extremes in drying North China during 1954–2006. J Meteorol Soc Jpn 88(1):29–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wang H (2001) The weakening of the Asian monsoon circulation after the end of 1970s. Adv Atmos Sci 18:376–386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wang S, Jinhong Z, Jingning C (2004) Interdecadal variability of temperature and precipitation in China since 1880. Adv Atmos Sci 21(3):307–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wu R, Kirtman BP (2007) Observed relationship of spring and summer East Asian rainfall with winter and spring Eurasian snow. J Climate 20(7):1285–1304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wu TW, Qian ZA (2003) The relation between the Tibetan winter snow and the Asian summer monsoon and rainfall: an observational investigation. J Climate 16:2038–2051CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wu B, Yang K, Zhang R (2009) Eurasian snow cover variability and its association with summer rainfall in China. Adv Atmos Sci 26(1):31–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Wu RG, Wen ZP, Yang S, Li YQ (2010) An interdecadal change in southern China summer rainfall around 1992/93. J Climate 23(9):2389–2403. doi: 10.1175/2009jcli3336.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Xie S, Du Y, Huang G, Zheng X, Tokinaga H, Hu K, Liu Q (2009) Decadal shift in El Nino influences on Indo-western Pacific and East Asian climate in the 1970s. J Climate 23:3352–3368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Xin XG, Yu RC, Zhou TJ, Wang B (2006) Drought in late spring of South China in recent decades. J Climate 19(13):3197–3206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Yang FL, Lau KM (2004) Trend and variability of China precipitation in spring and summer: linkage to sea-surface temperatures. Int J Climatol 24(13):1625–1644. doi: 10.1002/Joc.1094 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Yang T, Chen X, Xu CY, Zhang ZC (2009) Spatio-temporal changes of hydrological processes and underlying driving forces in Guizhou region, Southwest China. Stoch Environ Res Risk Assess 23(8):1071–1087. doi: 10.1007/s00477-008-0278-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Yao C, Yang S, Qian W, Lin Z, Wen M (2008) Regional summer precipitation events in Asia and their changes in the past decades. J Geophys Res 113(D17):D17107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Yim SY, Jhun JG, Yeh SW (2008) Decadal change in the relationship between east Asian–western North Pacific summer monsoons and ENSO in the mid-1990s. Geophys Res Lett 35:20711. doi: 10.1029/2008GL035751 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Yonetani T (1992) Discontinuous changes of precipitation in Japan after 1900 detected by the Lepage test. J Meteorol Soc Jpn 70(1):95–104Google Scholar
  51. Yonetani T (1993) Detection of long-term trend, cyclic variation and step-like change by the Lepage test. J Meteorol Soc Jpn 71(3):415–418Google Scholar
  52. Yonetani T, McCabe GJ (1994) Abrupt changes in regional temperature in the conterminous United States, 1895–1989. Climate Res 4:13–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Yoon J, Yeh SW (2010) Influence of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation on the relationship between El Niño and the northeast Asian summer monsoon. J Climate 23:4525–4537CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Yun KS, Ha KJ, Wang B, Ding R (2010) Decadal cooling in the Indian summer monsoon after 1997/1998 El Niño and its impact on the East Asian summer monsoon. Geophys Res Lett 37:01805. doi: 10.1029/2009GL041539 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Zhang Y, Wallace J, Battisti D (1997) ENSO-like interdecadal variability: 1900–93. J Climate 10(5):1004–1020CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Zhang Y, Li T, Wang B (2004) Decadal change of the spring snow depth over the Tibetan Plateau: the associated circulation and influence on the East Asian summer monsoon. J Climate 17(14):2780–2793CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Zhao P, Zhou Z, Liu J (2007) Variability of Tibetan spring snow and its associations with the hemispheric extratropical circulation and East Asian summer monsoon rainfall: an observational investigation. J Climate 20(15):3942–3955CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Zhou LT, Huang RH (2010) Interdecadal variability of summer rainfall in Northwest China and its possible causes. Int J Climatol 30(4):549–557. doi: 10.1002/Joc.1923 Google Scholar
  59. Zhu Y, Wang H, Zhou W, Ma J (2010) Recent changes in the summer precipitation pattern in East China and the background circulation. Clim Dynam. doi: 10.1007/s00382-010-0852-9 Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LASGInstitute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)BeijingChina
  2. 2.Center for Monsoon System Research (CMSR)Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)BeijingChina

Personalised recommendations