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Climatic and associated atmospheric water cycle changes over the Xinjiang, China

Yao, Junqiang, Chen, Yaning, Zhao, Yong, Guan, Xuefeng, Mao, Weiyi, Yang, Lianmei
Journal of hydrology 2020 v.585 pp. 124823
climate, evaporation, evapotranspiration, hydrologic cycle, models, recycling, transpiration, water vapor, wind, China
In this study, the climate variability and associated atmospheric water cycle changes in the Xinjiang (China) over the past five decades (1961–2010) are investigated. The Brubaker model and the Schär model were used to estimate the regional precipitation recycling on the climate scale while evaporation and transpiration (ET) in the area were estimated via the Budyko theory. Meanwhile, we proposed a conceptual framework that delineates the climatic variability and associated atmospheric water cycle changes in Xinjiang. Most of the climatic indicators in Xinjiang experienced a dramatic change in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Rapid warming, increased precipitation and water vapor as well as wind strengthening, have all been observed over the last two decades. All these changes have enhanced the potential evapotranspiration (PET) and the surface actual ET. The warming and moistening of the atmosphere reinforced the local moisture cycle and increased precipitation recycling. The average values of the Precipitation Recycling Ratio (PRR) were 6.48% and 7.79%, for the two models, respectively. The PRR increased remarkably, with a strong upward trend from the early 1980s to the early 21st century. It implied that the local precipitation recycling had been accelerating over the last three decades. The PRR changes were dominated by the moisture variables, e.g., actual ET, precipitation amount and water vapor conditions.