Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2019, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (1): 29-48.doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1582-5

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Sensitivity of arid/humid patterns in China to future climate change under a high-emissions scenario

Danyang MA1,2,3(), Haoyu DENG1,2, Yunhe YIN1,*(), Shaohong WU1,2, Du ZHENG1,2   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. Henan Province Development and Reform Commission, Zhengzhou 450018, China
  • Received:2018-07-20 Accepted:2018-09-10 Online:2019-01-25 Published:2019-01-25
  • Contact: Yunhe YIN;
  • About author:

    Author: Ma Danyang (1990-), PhD, E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    National Key Research and Development Program of China, No.2017YFC1502904;National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41530749, No.41571043


Changes in regional moisture patterns under the impact of climate change are an important focus for science. Based on the five global climate models (GCMs) participating in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5), this paper projects trends in the area of arid/humid climate regions of China over the next 100 years. It also identifies the regions of arid/humid patterns change and analyzes their temperature sensitivity of responses. Results show that future change will be characterized by a significant contraction in the humid region and an expansion of arid/humid transition zones. In particular, the sub-humid region will expand by 28.69% in the long term (2070-2099) relative to the baseline period (1981-2010). Under 2°C and 4°C warming, the area of the arid/humid transition zones is projected to increase from 10.17% to 13.72% of the total of China. The humid region south of the Huaihe River Basin, which is affected mainly by a future increase in evapotranspiration, will retreat southward and change to a sub-humid region. In general, the sensitivity of responses of arid/humid patterns to climate change in China will intensify with accelerating global warming.

Key words: arid/humid patterns, climate change, sensitivity, aridity index, China