Advances in Earth Science ›› 2020, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (1): 18-25. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2020.005

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An Overview on Changes of Dry/Wet Pattern in China in Decadal to Centennial Warm and Cold Periods During the Past Millennium

Zhixin Hao 1, 2( ),Maowei Wu 1,Xuezhen Zhang 1, 2,Yang Liu 1,Jingyun Zheng 1, 2( )   

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    2.University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2019-09-09 Revised:2019-12-15 Online:2020-01-20 Published:2020-02-27
  • Contact: Jingyun Zheng;
  • About author:Hao Zhixin (1975-), female, Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Professor. Research areas include climate change. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    the National R&D Program of China "Studies on the physical explanations of proxy indicator and technology of data mining and sharing"(2017YFA0603301);The National Natural Science Foundation of China "Studies on the differences and mechanisms of the inter-decadal dry-wet patterns over eastern China during the medieval climate anomaly and the Little Ice Age"(41831174)

Zhixin Hao,Maowei Wu,Xuezhen Zhang,Yang Liu,Jingyun Zheng. An Overview on Changes of Dry/Wet Pattern in China in Decadal to Centennial Warm and Cold Periods During the Past Millennium[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2020, 35(1): 18-25.

Revealing the multi-scale variation characteristics of the drought/flood patterns for the past millennium has been a hot spot in climate change research in recent years. It has significance for understanding and predicting the temporal and spatial differences of precipitation changes in the context of future climate warming. Based on publications on the peer-reviewed journals, here, we summarized and compared the combinations between cold/warm periods and dry/wet spatial patterns at multi-scales in China over the past millennium. The main conclusions are: although there are differences in China's dry/wet patterns in different cold and warm periods for the past millennium, the ensemble mean shows that the dry/wet patterns in eastern China in decadal or centennial warm periods are approximately "dry (South China)-wet (middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River)-dry (Huanghuai Area)" from south to north, while in the relatively cold periods it mainly shows a "wet in east and dry in west" pattern. The climate changes from cold to warm usually lead to a drying trend in the Huanghuai Area, and a wetting trend in the Jiangnan area (especially the Yangtze River basin in Hunan and Jiangxi provinces). This shows that the "flood in south and drought in north" pattern in eastern China since the 1970s under the background of global warming may be a re-occurrence of the matching characteristics of cold/warm climate and dry/wet patterns in China for the past millennium. However, from the perspective of the longer-scale cold and warm stages, the dry/wet pattern in China tend to be "dry in the arid and semi-arid areas in western China; wet in southwestern, northern, and northeastern China; and dry in southeastern China" in the Medieval Climate Anomaly, and an opposite pattern shows in the Little Ice Age. It suggests that there are still uncertainties in the current climate reconstructions, and it also shows that the mechanism of dry/wet pattern responding to multi-scale temperature fluctuations might be extremely complicated.

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