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Decadal summer drought frequency in China: the increasing influence of the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation

Last modified December 09, 2014 17:25

Environmental Research Letters Volume 9 Number 12. Chengcheng Qian et al 2014 Environ. Res. Lett. 9 124004 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/9/12/124004. Chengcheng Qian, Jin-Yi Yu and Ge Chen

Decadal variations in summer drought events during 1956–2005 are examined over Eastern China to identify their leading variability modes and their linkages to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO), and global warming. The PDO influence is found to dominate China drought frequency from the 1960s to early 1990s via modulating the Western Pacific Subtropical High and the Mongolian High. The four-pole drought pattern produced by the PDO diminished after the early 1990s, being replaced by a dipolar drought pattern that is produced by the AMO via a Eurasian wave train emanating from North Atlantic to China. The increasing influence of the AMO on China drought since the early 1990s is further shown to be a consequence of global warming. This study indicates that the early 1990s is a time when the Atlantic began to exert a stronger influence on climate over China and even larger part of Asia.

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