Long-term change of wet and dry climatic conditions in the southwest karst area of China

Bingjun Liu, Cuiliu Chen, Yanqing Lian, Junfan Chen, Xiaohong Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using the daily precipitation and temperature data at 153 stations in the karst area of Southwest China from 1959 to 2009, the long-term change characteristics of wet and dry climatic conditions are analyzed by the Mann-Kendall test. This study shows that: 1) the annual average temperature has increased at 88% of the stations with an average rate of +. 0.16. °C/10-year. This increase rate is greater than +. 0.30. °C/10-year in the southeastern, northeastern, and western parts of the study region. Very warm days and abnormally warm days were seen increased at 47% and 63% of the stations, respectively. Very cool days and abnormally cool days in a year have reduced at respectively 94% and 95% of the stations; 2) no clear change trend was found for average annual precipitation over the entire area as a whole, but regional and seasonal changes were quite obvious. The annual total precipitation has decreased by - 22.5. mm/10-year in the central part but increased by +. 8.9. mm/10-year in the western part of the region, and summer and winter seemed to become wetter while spring and autumn became drier. Although the number of rainy days in a year has decreased at almost 53% of the total stations with an average rate of - 3.9. days/10-year over the entire area, the number of extremely heavy rainy days has increased by +. 0.2, +. 0.4 and +. 0.4. days/10-year in the southern Sichuan Province, the central part of Yunnan Province, and the northeastern Hubei Province, respectively; and 3) the extreme drought became more serious. The consecutive dry days has increased significantly at nearly 46% of the stations, especially in the western Guangxi Autonomous Region, the southern Guizhou Province, and the eastern Chongqing Municipality. The extreme drought remained at a high frequency at the beginning of the 21st century. It has shifted gradually from the eastern and western parts to the south-central part which is characterized by medium-high rocky desertification. Hopefully findings from this study will help for a better understanding of the impacts to some eminent geological hazards such as rocky desertification, increased frequency of drought and storms, and landslides in recent years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalGlobal and Planetary Change
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Dry condition
  • Karst area of southwest china
  • Long-term change propertie
  • Temperature
  • Wet condition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Oceanography


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