Changes in the characteristics of dry-wet periods in Xinjiang, China based on the SPEI index

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Hui Zhao
Xinguo Li
Mamattursun Eziz
Junqiang Yao


The standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI), calculated from 55 stations over the period 1961-2015, was used to analyze the spatial and temporal variability of the dry and wet climate in Xinjiang on a three and six-month time scale, so as to help to actively deal with the negative effects of climate change and reduce disaster losses. The obtained results show that precipitation and temperature in Xinjiang have an increasing trend, with rates of 8.90 mm and 0.39 ºC per decade, respectively. SPEI-3 and SPEI-6 show the same linear change trend, with a change rate of 0.005 and 0.007 per decade, respectively. Severe droughts occurred in 1997 and 2008, and particularly in 2008 considering SPEI-6, the number of meteorological stations with moderate drought and extreme drought accounted for 60 % of all stations. Analysis of Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) indicates that SPEI-3 and SPEI-6 have similar spatial distribution in the three EOF modes. EOF1 reflects that the overall dry and wet changes in the study area were weakening, and there was a drying trend; EOF2 was a reverse change in the northern and Southern Xinjiang; EOF3 shows that the East Tianshan had a drying trend, while the western part of Southern Xinjiang had a moistening trend. The spectra of wavelet coherence and cross wavelet transform showed that the SPEI values in Xinjiang have resonance periods of different time scales with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and Pacific Decadal oscillation (PDO), but shows differences in different time-domain correlations. Among them, AMO is the main atmospheric circulation factor that affects SPEI in the region.


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