Attribution of extreme precipitation in the lower reaches of Yangtze River during May 2016

Chunxiang Li , Qinhua Tian, Rong Yu, Baiquan Zhou, Jiangjiang Xia, Claire Burke, Buwen Dong, Simon Tett, Nicolas Freychet, Fraser Lott, Andrew Ciavarella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

May 2016 was the third wettest May on record since 1961 over central eastern China based on station observations, with total monthly rainfall 40% more than the climatological mean over period of 1961-2013. Accompanying disasters such as waterlogging, landslides and debris flow struck part of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. Causal influence of anthropogenic forcings on this event is investigated using the newly updated Met Office Hadley Centre system for attribution of extreme weather and climate events. Results indicate that there is a significant increase in May 2016 rainfall in model simulations relative to the climatological period, but this increase is largely attributable to natural variability. El Niño years have been found to be correlated with extreme rainfall in the Yangtze River region in previous studies - the strong El Niño of 2015–2016 may account for the extreme precipitation event in 2016. However, on smaller spatial scales we find that anthropogenic forcing has likely played a role in increasing the risk of extreme rainfall to the north of the Yangtze and decreasing it to the south.
Original languageEnglish
Article number014015
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2017

Keywords

  • extreme rainfall
  • extreme event attribution
  • El Nino
  • risk ratio
  • anthropogenic influence
  • CLIMATE-CHANGE
  • EL-NINO
  • NORMALIZED ANOMALIES
  • EVENTS
  • CHINA
  • WEATHER
  • CIRCULATION
  • PREDICTION
  • FREQUENCY
  • RAINFALL

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