Evolution of temperature, precipitation, soil moisture, and wilt area, E. China, 1979-2012

For this edition, I explore some areas of climate evolution in eastern China, roughly covering the agricultural zones. The graphs below were produced with the aid of Giovanni, a data portal run by NASA GES DISC. I used the Modern Era Retrospective Analysis dataset of monthly records gridded on 2/3 x 1/2 degree. Please send questions or comments to sidd@membrane.com

For a look at global precipitation patterns, see here.

The graphs below are histograms for 2m temperature in E. China. The x axes are in Kelvin. The incidence of cooler months has dropped in three decades.

comparison of 2m temperature in 1979-1988 to 2003-2012

The graphs below are histograms for surface precipitation in E. China. One unit on the x axes is about 10"/month of rain. The incidence of both drier and wetter months increased in 30 years.The distribution also broadens toward higher precipitation months.

comparison of precipitation in 1979-1988 to 2003-2012

The next set of graphs compares the moisture fraction in the root zone. We see the root zone getting more moist.

comparison of moisture in the root zone between 1979-1988 and 2003-2012

The next set of graphs compares the fractional area of wilted vegetation. We see an increase over the 30 year period.

comparison of fractional area of wilted vegetation between 1979-1988 and 2003-2012

These have interesting implications for agriculture, forestry, wildlife and humans.