Anthropogenic Influences on 2019 July Precipitation Extremes Over the Mid–Lower Reaches of the Yangtze River

Nergui Nanding, Yang Chen, Huan Wu*, Buwen Dong, Fangxing Tian, Fraser C. Lott, Simon F. Tett, Miguel A Rico-Ramirez, Yiheng Chen, Zhijun Huang, Yan Yan, Delei Li, Rouke Li, Xuan Wang, Xuewei Fan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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Understanding the driving factors for precipitation extremes matters for adaptation and mitigation measures against the changing hydrometeorological hazards in Yangtze River basin, a habitable area that provides water resources for domestic, farming, and industrial needs. However, the region is naturally subject to major floods linked to monsoonal heavy precipitation during May–September. This study aims to quantify anthropogenic influences on the changing risk of 2-week-long precipitation extremes such as the July 2019 extreme cases, as well as events of shorter durations, over the middle and lower reaches of Yangtze River basin (MLYRB). Precipitation extremes with different durations ranging from 1-day to 14-days maximum precipitation accumulations are investigated. Gridded daily precipitations based on nearly 2,400 meteorological stations across China are used to define maximum accumulated precipitation extremes over the MLYRB in July during 1961–2019. Attribution analysis is conducted by using the Met Office HadGEM3-GA6 modeling system, which comprises two sets of 525-member ensembles for 2019. One is forced with observed sea-surface temperatures (SSTs), sea-ice and all forcings, and the other is forced with preindustrialized SSTs and natural forcings only. The risk ratio between the exceedance probabilities estimated from all-forcing and natural-forcing simulations is calculated to quantify the anthropogenic contribution to the changing risks of the July 2019–like precipitation extremes. The results reveal that anthropogenic warming has reduced the likelihood of 2019-like 14-days heavy precipitation over the mid–lower reaches of the Yangtze River by 20%, but increased that of 2-days extremes by 30%.
Original languageEnglish
Article number603061
Number of pages6
JournalFrontiers in Environmental Science
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2020

Structured keywords

  • Water and Environmental Engineering


  • precipitation extreme events
  • climate change
  • Yangtze (Changjiang) catchment
  • attribution studies
  • anthropogenic influence


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