Asymmetrical shift toward less light and more heavy precipitation in an urban agglomeration of East China: Intensification by urbanization

Xiaojie Yu, Xihui Gu*, Dongdong Kong, Qiang Zhang, Qian Cao, Louise J. Slater, Guoyu Ren, Ming Luo, Jianfeng LI, Jianyu Liu*, Jianmei Cheng, Yanan Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Under global warming, projected changes in precipitation have shown an asymmetrical shift from light to heavy precipitation over China. However, the role of urbanization in this shift remains unknown. Here, we show that increases in total rainy-season (May-September) precipitation over the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) urban agglomeration of East China are characterized by decreasing light precipitation and increasing heavy precipitation during 1961–2019. This asymmetrical shift toward heavier precipitation is even more prominent in urban than rural areas. Areas with faster urban expansion rates exhibit stronger negative (positive) trends in light (heavy) precipitation. Urbanization contributes to 44.4% (26.4%) of the decreasing (increasing) light (heavy) precipitation in the urban areas of the YRD. We suggest that urban managers should consider potential adverse impacts of this asymmetrical shift, which may favor increases in both the frequency of heatwaves and waterlogging.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021GL097046
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume49
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • asymmetrical shift
  • heavy precipitation
  • light precipitation
  • urbanization
  • Yangtze River Delta

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