Author(s): Qiang Zhang; Juntai Peng; Chongyu Xu; Vijay P. Singh
Linked Author(s): Qiang Zhang
Keywords: Precipitation regimes; Occurrence and duration; Fractional contribution; Yangtze River basin
Abstract: Daily precipitation data for 1960 to 2005 from 147 rainfall stations over the Yangtze River basin are analyzed to investigate precipitation variations based on precipitation indices and also consecutive rainfall regimes in both space and time. Results indicate decreasing annual/monthly mean precipitation. Distinct decreases in rainfall days are observed over most parts of the Yangtze River basin, but precipitation intensity is increasing over most parts, particularly the lower parts. Besides, durations of precipitation regimes are shortening; however, the fractional contribution of short-lasting precipitation regimes to the total precipitation amount is increasing. In this sense, the precipitation processes in the Yangtze River basin are dominated by precipitation regimes of shorter durations. These results indicate intensified hydrological cycle reflected by shortening precipitation regimes. This finding is different from that in Europe where the intensifying precipitation changes are reflected mainly by lengthening precipitation regimes, implying different regional responses of hydrological cycle to climate change. The results of this study will be of considerable relevance in basin -scale water resources management, human mitigation of natural hazards and in understanding regional hydrological responses to changing climate.