Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2012, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (6): 989-1001.doi: 10.1007/s11442-012-0978-2

• Climate Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Long-term trends of precipitation in the North China Plain

FAN Lan1,2, LU Changhe1, YANG Biao3, CHEN Zhao1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3. China Academy of Space Technology, Beijing 100094, China
  • Received:2011-11-25 Revised:2012-07-16 Online:2012-12-15 Published:2013-02-07


The North China Plain (NCP) is the most important food grain producing area in China and has suffered from serious water shortages. To capture variation water availability, it is necessary to have an analysis of changing trends in precipitation. This study, based on daily precipitation data from 47 representative stations in NCP records passed the homogeneity test, analyzed the trend and amplitude of variation in monthly, seasonal and annual precipitation, annual maximum continuous no-rain days, annual rain days, rainfall intensity, and rainfall extremes from 1960 to 2007, using the Mann- Kendall (M-K) test and Sen’s slope estimator. It was found that monthly precipitation in winter had a significant increasing trend in most parts, while monthly precipitation in July to September showed a decreasing trend in some parts of NCP. No significant changing trend was found for the annual, dry and wet season precipitation and rainfall extremes in the majority of NCP.A significant decreasing trend was detected for the maximum no-rain duration and annual rain days in the major part of NCP. It was concluded that the changing trend of precipitation in NCP had an apparent seasonal and regional pattern, i.e., precipitation showed an obvious increasing trend in winter, but a decreasing trend in the rainy season (July to September), and the changing trend was more apparent in the northern part than in the southern and middle parts. This implies that with global warming, seasonal variation of precipitation in NCP tends to decline with an increasing of precipitation in winter season, and a decreasing in rainy season, particularly in the sub-humid northern part.

Key words: precipitation, trend, changing rate, North China Plain