Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2008, Vol. 18 ›› Issue (4): 415-424.doi: 10.1007/s11442-008-0415-8

• Climate and Environmental Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Dust storms evolution in Taklimakan Desert and its correlation with climatic parameters

XIAO Fengjin1, ZHOU Caiping2, LIAO Yaoming1   

  1. 1. Laboratory for Climate Studies, National Climate Center, Beijing 100081, China|
    2. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2008-03-05 Revised:2008-06-27 Online:2008-12-25 Published:2008-12-25
  • Supported by:

    National Science and Technology Support Project of the Extreme Meteorological Disasters Risk Regionalization and Impact ssessment, No.2007BAC29B05; CMA project of Meteorological Disaster Assessment, No.20082012208

Abstract:

Based on the sand dust storms data and climatic data in 12 meteorological stations around sand dust storm originating areas of the Taklimakan Desert, we analyzed the trends of the number of dust storm days from 1960 to 2005 as well as their correlations with temperature, precipitation, wind speed and the number of days with mean wind speed ≥ 5 m/s. The results show that the frequency of dust storm events in the Taklimakan region decreased with the elapse of time. Except Ruoqiang and Minfeng, in the other 10 meteorological stations, the frequency of dust storm events reduces, and in 4 meteorological stations of Kuqa, Korla, Kalpin and Hotan, the frequency of dust storm events distinctly decreases. The temperature has an increasing trend, while the average wind speed and the number of days with mean wind speed ≥ 5 m/s have decreasing trends. The correlation analysis between the number of days of dust storms and climatic parameters demonstrates that wind speed and the number of days with mean wind speed ≥ 5 m/s have strong positive correlation with the number of days of dust storms, with the correlations coefficients being 0.743 and 0.720 (p<0.01), respectively, which indicates that strong wind is the direct factor resulting in sand dust storms. Whereas precipitation has significant negative correlation with the number of days of dust storms (p<0.01), and the prior annual precipitation has also negative correlation, which indicates that the prior precipitation restrains the occurrence of sand dust storms, but this restraining action is weaker than the same year’s precipitation. Temperature has negative correlation with the number of dust storm days, with a correlations coefficient of –0.433 (p<0.01), which means that temperature change also has impacts on the occurrence of dust storm events in the Taklimakan region.

Key words: sand dust storm, climatic parameter, dust storm originating area, Taklimakan Desert