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Chunhui Lu, Fraser C. Lott, Ying Sun, Peter A. Stott, and Nikolaos Christidis

Abstract

In China, summer precipitation contributes a major part of the total precipitation amount in a year and has major impacts on society and human life. Whether any changes in summer precipitation are affected by external forcing on the climate system is an important issue. In this study, an optimal fingerprinting method was used to compare the observed changes of total, heavy, moderate, and light precipitation in summer derived from newly homogenized observation data with the simulations from multiple climate models participating in phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). The results demonstrate that the anthropogenic forcing signal can be detected and separated from the natural forcing signal in the observed increase of seasonal accumulated precipitation amount for heavy precipitation in summer in China and eastern China (EC). The simulated changes in heavy precipitation are generally consistent with observed change in China but are underestimated in EC. When the changes in precipitation of different intensities are considered simultaneously, the human influence on simultaneous changes in moderate and light precipitation can be detected in China and EC in summer. Changes attributable to anthropogenic forcing explain most of the observed regional changes for all categories of summer precipitation, and natural forcing contributes little. In the future, with increasing anthropogenic influence, the attribution-constrained projection suggests that heavy precipitation in summer will increase more than that from the model raw outputs. Society may therefore face a higher risk of heavy precipitation in the future.

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Ying Sun, Ting Hu, Xuebin Zhang, Hui Wan, Peter Stott, and Chunhui Lu
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Chunhui Lu, Jie Jiang, Ruidan Chen, Safi Ullah, Rong Yu, Fraser C. Lott, Simon F. B. Tett, and Buwen Dong
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