Water Science and Engineering 2008, 1(2) 33-46  DOI:   10.3882/j.issn.1674-2370.2008.02.004   ISSN: 1674-2370 CN: 32-1785/TV

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Meiyu variations
strong inter-decadal change
effect of anthropogenic activity
Xu Qun
Article by

Recent strong inter-decadal change of Meiyu in 121-year variations

Xu Qun*

Jiangsu Meteorological Institute, Nanjing 210008, P. R. China


The strongest change in Meiyu periods in the mid-lower Yangtze Basin (MLY) since 1885 occurred in the late 1970s: a stage of weak Meiyu from 1958 to 1978 abruptly transformed into a stage of plentiful Meiyu from 1979 to 1999. The average Meiyu amount of the latter 21 years increased by 66% compared with that of the former 21 years, accompanied by a significant increase in the occurrence of summer floods in the MLY. This change was closely related with the frequent phenomenon of postponed Meiyu ending dates (MED) and later onset dates of high summer (ODHS) in the MLY. To a considerable degree, this reflects an abrupt change of the summer climate in East China. Further analysis showed that the preceding factors contributing to inter-annual changes in Meiyu in the two 21-year stages delimited above were also very different from each other. The causes of change were associated with the following: China’s industrialization has greatly accelerated since the 1970s, accompanied by an increase in atmospheric pollution and a reduction of the solar radiation reaching the ground. The sand area of North China has also expanded due to overgrazing. The enhanced greenhouse effect is manifested in warm winters (especially in February). Meanwhile, the January precipitation of the MLY has for the most part increased, and El Niño events have occurred more frequently since the late 1970s. A correlative scatter diagram consisting of these five factors mentioned above clearly shows that the two stages with opposite Meiyu characteristics are grouped in two contrasting locations with very different environmental (land-atmosphere) conditions. It is quite possible that we are now entering a new stage of lesser Meiyu, beginning in 2000.

Keywords Meiyu variations   strong inter-decadal change   effect of anthropogenic activity  
Received 2008-05-02 Revised 2008-05-30 Online:  
DOI: 10.3882/j.issn.1674-2370.2008.02.004
Corresponding Authors: Xu Qun*
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