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  • Author or Editor: Xiang Li x
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Xiaoming Xu
,
Xueqin Zhang
, and
Xiang Li

Abstract

An ideal spatial interpolation approach is indispensable for obtaining high-quality gridded climatic data in mountainous regions with scarce observations, particularly for the Hengduan Mountains Region (HMR) with dense longitudinal ranges and gorges. However, there is much controversy about the applicability of thin plate smooth spline (TPSS), cokriging, and inverse distance weighting (IDW) in mountainous regions. Here, we use the daily observations of temperature and precipitation at 125 stations in HMR and its surroundings from 1961 to 2018 and adopt three interpolation methods to map the annual average temperature and precipitation at a resolution of 500 m in HMR. Then, we assess the applicability of three interpolation methods in HMR from the perspectives of interpolation accuracy and effects. The evaluation implies a satisfactory interpolation accuracy of TPSS with the highest correlation and lowest error, whether for temperature (R2 = 0.92, RMSE = 1.2°C) or precipitation (R2 = 0.54, RMSE = 165.9 mm). In addition, the TPSS could better display the temperature (precipitation) gradient along elevation and depict dry valleys’ high-temperature and low-precipitation characteristics. Moreover, the satisfactory interpolation performance of TPSS mainly benefits from the screening of optimal TPSS model that varied primarily with the regional topography feature and meteorological observation density. The uncertainty of gridded climate datasets has become an urgent problem to solve in the complex terrain. This research illustrates the satisfactory applicability of TPSS for climatic spatial interpolation in HMR, providing theoretical support for high-precision interpolation in complex terrain, hopefully improving the regional weather forecasts and disaster warnings.

Open access
Guoyu Ren
,
Hongbin Liu
,
Ziying Chu
,
Li Zhang
,
Xiang Li
,
Weijing Li
,
Yu Chen
,
Ge Gao
, and
Yan Zhang

Abstract

Middle and eastern routes of the South–North Water Diversion Project (SNWDP) of China, which are approximately located within the area 28°–42°N and 110°–122°E, are being constructed. This paper investigates the past climatic variations on various time scales using instrumental and proxy data. It is found that annual mean surface air temperature has increased significantly during the past 50–100 years, and winter and spring temperatures in the northern part of the region have undergone the most significant changes. A much more significant increase occurs for annual mean minimum temperature and extreme low temperature than for annual mean maximum temperature and extreme high temperature. No significant trend in annual precipitation is found for the region as a whole for the last 50 and 100 years, although obvious decadal and spatial variation is detectable. A seesaw pattern of annual and summer precipitation variability between the north and the south of the region is evident. Over the last 100 years, the Haihe River basin has witnessed a significant negative trend of annual precipitation, but no similar trend is detected for the Yangtze and Huaihe River basins. Pan evaporation has significantly decreased since the mid-1960s in the region in spite of the fact that the trend appears to have ended in the early 1990s. The negative trend of pan evaporation is very significant in the plain area between the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers. There was a notable series of dry intervals lasting decades in the north of the region. The northern drought of the past 30 years is not the most severe in view of the past 500 years; however, the southern drought during the period from the 1960s to the 1980s may have been unprecedented. The dryness–wetness index (DWI) shows significant oscillations with periodicities of 9.5 and 20 years in the south and 10.5 and 25 years in the north. Longer periodicities in the DWI series include 160–170- and 70–80-yr oscillations in the north, and 100–150-yr oscillations in the south. The observed climate change could have implications for the construction and management of the SNWDP. The official approval and start of the hydro project was catalyzed by the severe multiyear drought of 1997–2003 in the north, and the operation and management of the project in the future will also be influenced by climate change—in particular by precipitation variability. This paper provides a preliminary discussion of the potential implications of observed climate change for the SNWDP.

Full access
Guoyu Ren
,
Hongbin Liu
,
Ziying Chu
,
Li Zhang
,
Xiang Li
,
Weijing Li
,
Yu Chen
,
Ge Gao
, and
Yan Zhang
Full access
Xuejin Wang
,
Baoqing Zhang
,
Feng Li
,
Xiang Li
,
Xuliang Li
,
Yibo Wang
,
Rui Shao
,
Jie Tian
, and
Chansheng He

Abstract

From 1998 to the present, the Chinese government has implemented numerous large-scale ecological programs to restore ecosystems and improve environmental protection in the agro-pastoral ecotone of northern China (APENC). However, it remains unclear how vegetation restoration modulates intraregional moisture cycles and changes regional water balance. To fill this gap, we first investigated the variation in precipitation (P) from the China Meteorological Forcing Dataset and evapotranspiration (ET) estimated using the Priestley–Taylor Jet Propulsion Laboratory model under two scenarios: dynamic vegetation (DV) and no dynamic vegetation (no-DV). We then used the dynamic recycling model to analyze the changes in precipitation recycling ratio (PRR). Finally, we examined how vegetation restoration modulates intraregional moisture recycling to change the regional water cycle in APENC. Results indicate P increased at an average rate of 4.42 mm yr−2 from 1995 to 2015. ET with DV exhibited a significant increase at a rate of 1.57, 3.58, 1.53, and 1.84 mm yr−2 in the four subregions, respectively, compared with no-DV, and the annual mean PRR values were 10.15%, 9.30%, 11.01%, and 12.76% in the four subregions, and significant increasing trends were found in the APENC during 1995–2015. Further analysis of regional moisture recycling shows that vegetation restoration does not increase local P directly, but has an indirect effect by enhancing moisture recycling process to produce more P by increasing PRR. Our findings show that large-scale ecological restoration programs have a positive effect on local moisture cycle and precipitation.

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