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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 17, issue 17 | Copyright
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 10467-10476, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-17-10467-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 07 Sep 2017

Research article | 07 Sep 2017

Dominance of climate warming effects on recent drying trends over wet monsoon regions

Chang-Eui Park1, Su-Jong Jeong1, Chang-Hoi Ho2, Hoonyoung Park2, Shilong Piao3,4,5, Jinwon Kim6, and Song Feng7 Chang-Eui Park et al.
  • 1School of Environmental Science and Engineering, South University of Science and Technology of China, Shenzhen 518055, China
  • 2School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, 08826, South Korea
  • 3Key Laboratory of Alpine Ecology and Biodiversity, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • 4Sino-French Institute for Earth System Science, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • 5Center for Excellence in Tibetan Earth Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
  • 6Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA
  • 7Department of Geosciences, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA

Abstract. Understanding changes in background dryness over land is key information for adapting to climate change because of its critical socioeconomic consequences. However, causes of continental dryness changes remain uncertain because various climate parameters control dryness. Here, we verify dominant climate variables determining dryness trends over continental eastern Asia, which is characterized by diverse hydroclimate regimes ranging from arid to humid, by quantifying the relative effects of changes in precipitation, solar radiation, wind speed, surface air temperature, and relative humidity on trends in the aridity index based on observed data from 189 weather stations for the period of 1961–2010. Before the early 1980s (1961–1983), change in precipitation is a primary condition for determining aridity trends. In the later period (1984–2010), the dominant climate parameter for aridity trends varies according to the hydroclimate regime. Drying trends in arid regions are mostly explained by reduced precipitation. In contrast, the increase in potential evapotranspiration due to increased atmospheric water-holding capacity, a secondary impact of warming, works to increase aridity over the humid monsoon region despite an enhanced water supply and relatively less warming. Our results show significant drying effects of warming over the humid monsoon region in recent decades; this also supports the drying trends over warm and water-sufficient regions in future climate.

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In dry monsoon regions, a decrease in precipitation induces drying trends. In contrast, the increase in potential evapotranspiration due to increased atmospheric water-holding capacity, a secondary impact of warming, works to increase aridity over the humid monsoon regions despite the increase in precipitation. Our results explain the recent drying in the humid monsoon regions. This also supports the drying trends over the warm and water-sufficient regions in future climate.
In dry monsoon regions, a decrease in precipitation induces drying trends. In contrast, the...
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