Journal of Geographical Sciences

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 489–501 | Cite as

Effects of precipitation variation on severe acid rain in southern China

  • Zhiqing Xie
  • Yin Du
  • Yan Zeng
  • Yachun Li
  • Mingliang Yan
  • Shengming Jiao


Acid rain has been recognized as a serious environmental problem in China since the 1980s, but little is known about the effects of the climatic change in regional precipitation on the temporal and spatial variability of severe acid rain. We present the effects of the regional precipitation trend change on the area and intensity of severe acid rain in southern China, and the spatio-temporal distribution characteristics of SO2 and NO2 concentrations are analyzed on the basis of SO2 and NO2 column concentration data. The results are as follows. (1) The emission levels of SO2 and NO2 have reached or passed the precipitation scavenging capacity in parts of southern China owing to the emission totals of SO2 and NO2 increasing from 1993 to 2004. (2) Notable changes in the proportion of cities subject to severe acid rain occurred mainly in the south of the middle-lower reaches of the Yangtze River during 1993–2004. With an abrupt change in 1999, the severe acid rain regions were mainly located in central and western China during 1993–1999 and moved obviously eastward to the south of the lower-middle reaches of the Yangtze River with the proportion of cities subject to severe acid rain increasing significantly from 2000 to 2004. (3) The spatial distribution and variation in the seasonal precipitation change rate of more than 10 mm/10a are similar to those of severe acid rain in southern China. An abrupt change in 1999 is seen for winter and summer precipitation, the same as for the proportion of cities subject to severe acid rain in southern China. The significant increase in summer storm precipitation from 1991 to 1999 mitigated the annual precipitation acidity in the south of the Yangtze River and reduced the area of severe acid rainfall. On the other hand, the decrease in storm rainfall in summer expanded the area of severe acid rainfall in the south of the Yangtze River in 2000–2006. Therefore, the change in seasonal precipitation is an important factor in the severe acid rain regions moving eastward and expanding in southern China.


acid rain spatial and temporal variations in seasonal precipitation climate change rate Mann-Kendall trend test 


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Copyright information

© Science in China Press and Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhiqing Xie
    • 1
  • Yin Du
    • 2
  • Yan Zeng
    • 1
    • 3
  • Yachun Li
    • 1
  • Mingliang Yan
    • 1
  • Shengming Jiao
    • 1
  1. 1.Jiangsu Institute of Meteorological SciencesNanjingChina
  2. 2.Department of Atmospheric SciencesNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.Nanjing Institute of Geography and LimnologyCASNanjingChina

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