Attribution of the Record-Breaking Extreme Precipitation Events in July 2021 Over Central and Eastern China to Anthropogenic Climate Change

Liangyi Wang, Xihui Gu*, Louise J. Slater, Yangchen Lai, Yanhui Zheng, Jie Gong, Moctar Dembélé, Fatih Tosunoğlu, Jianyu Liu, Xiang Zhang, Dongdong Kong, Jianfeng Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In July 2021, Typhoon In-Fa produced record-breaking extreme precipitation events (hereafter referred to as the 2021 EPEs) in central and eastern China, and caused serious socioeconomic losses and casualties. However, it is still unknown whether the 2021 EPEs can be attributed to anthropogenic climate change (ACC) and how the occurrence probabilities of precipitation events of a similar magnitude might evolve in the future. The 2021 EPEs in central (eastern) China occurred in the context of no linear trend (a significantly increasing trend at a rate of 4.44%/decade) in the region-averaged Rx5day (summer maximum 5-day accumulated precipitation) percentage precipitation anomaly (PPA), indicating that global warming might have no impact on the 2021 EPE in central China but might have impacted the 2021 EPE in eastern China by increasing the long-term trend of EPEs. Using the scaled generalized extreme value distribution, we detected a slightly negative (significantly positive) association of the Rx5day PPA time series in central (eastern) China with the global mean temperature anomaly, suggesting that global warming might have no (a detectable) contribution to the changes in occurrence probability of precipitation extremes like the 2021 EPEs in central (eastern) China. Historical attributions (1961–2020) showed that the likelihood of the 2021 EPE in central/eastern China decreased/increased by approximately +47% (−23% to +89%)/+55% (−45% to +201%) due to ACC. By the end of the 21st century, the likelihood of precipitation extremes similar to the 2021 EPE in central/eastern China under SSP585 is 14 (9–19)/15 (9–20) times higher than under historical climate conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2023EF003613
Number of pages17
JournalEarth's Future
Volume11
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

User-Defined Keywords

  • anthropogenic climate change
  • attribution
  • extreme precipitation
  • occurrence probability

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