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Global warming has changed rainfall patterns of China, climate expert

17-02-2017Source:China Meteorological News Press

The latest meteorological data presents that the average temperature of earth surface has set new highs over the past three years as 2016 became the warmest year on record. On February 7, 2016 has been the third warmest year since 1951. Against the context of global warming, the general conditions of China climate have been changed: heavy precipitation on rise, aggravation of regional drought , more and more strong typhoon as well as northwest China becoming wetter.

The latest bulletin of World Meteorological Organization (WMO) shows that 2016 average temperature of earth surface was 0.83℃ higher than average temperature between 1961 and 1990, also 1.1℃ higher than average level before industrial era. Based on international climate data, extreme climate events occurred with high frequency. For instance, the temperature in Ob River estuary and Novaya Zemlya vicinity was 6℃ or 7℃ higher than former years and the temperature of Alaska and northwestern Canada exceeded 3℃. Meanwhile, warmer oceans brought about the tremendous reduction of both Antarctic and arctic sea-ice extent. Moreover, the average concentration of carbon dioxide around the global atmosphere has surpassed 400ppm threshold (1ppm is one in a million) with the record breaking of methane concentration at the same time.

Dr. Xu Ying, a researcher from Beijing Climate Centre, says that natural factors together with human factors affect global warming. On one side, the strong El Nino in east-central tropical Pacific ocean fueled the effect of global warming. On the other side, human activities is a major contributor to global warming as indentified by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

At the background of warmest year, China has seen climatic anomaly, warm and humid weathers, bad climate situations along with grievous meteorological disasters in 2016. According to the data from Beijing Climate Centre, China average temperature of 2016 was 0.81℃ higher than normal years ranking the third behind 2015 and 2007, and the average precipitation of 2016 was the heaviest since 1951 with the amount of 730mm, 16% more than normal years.

Affected by global warming, China precipitation patterns has been changed. Dr. Xiao Chan, senior engineer from Beijing Climate Centre, elaborates that light rainy days have decreased 13% while rainstorm days have increased 10% since 1961. Recurrence interval of hourly heavy precipitation for once-in-a-hundred-years in metropolis has been obviously shorterned. Nevertheless, regional drought has become constantly aggravating at the same time. Drought days above average add 37% in the northeastern region, 16% in northern China and 10% in the southwestern part. From the perspective of meteorology, global warming pushes up the temperature of earth surface, which enhances evaporation of water surface, increasing water-holding capacity in atmosphere, resulting in the rise of water-cycle speed. The amount or intensity of precipitation would singularly rise as satisfied as a result.

In addition, the intensity of typhoon landing in China gets stronger. The intensity of half landed typhoons since this century are higher than level 12, 46% more than 1990s of last century. Simultaneously, the climate in northwest China turns to be warmer and wetter, increasing risk of flooding. (17 Feb.)

Reporter: Sun Nan, Huang Zili

Editor: Chen Meiqi