Articles | Volume 18, issue 9
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 3651–3661, 2014
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 3651–3661, 2014

Research article 17 Sep 2014

Research article | 17 Sep 2014

Linkages between ENSO/PDO signals and precipitation, streamflow in China during the last 100 years

R. Ouyang1,2, W. Liu3, G. Fu4, C. Liu1, L. Hu5, and H. Wang6 R. Ouyang et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory of Water Cycle & Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China
  • 2Bureau of Comprehensive Development Ministry of Water Resources, Beijing, 100053, China
  • 3Key Laboratory of Tibetan Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China
  • 4CSIRO Land and Water, Private Bag 5, Wembley, WA 6913, Australia
  • 5Zhejiang Provincial Hydrology Bureau, Hangzhou, 310009, China
  • 6Graduate School of INSA, 35000 Rennes, France

Abstract. This paper investigates the single and combined impacts of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) on precipitation and streamflow in China over the last century. Results indicate that the precipitation and streamflow overall decrease during El Niño/PDO warm phase periods and increase during La Niña/PDO cool phase periods in the majority of China, although there are regional and seasonal differences. Precipitation and streamflow in the Yellow River basin, Yangtze River basin and Pearl River basin are more significantly influenced by El Niño and La Niña events than is precipitation and streamflow in the Songhua River basin, especially in October and November. Moreover, significant influence of ENSO on streamflow in the Yangtze River mainly occurs in summer and autumn while in the Pearl River influence primarily occurs in the winter and spring. The precipitation and streamflow are relatively greater in the warm PDO phase in the Songhua River basin and several parts of the Yellow River basin and relatively less in the Pearl River basin and most parts of Northwest China compared to those in the cool PDO phase, though there is little significance detected by Wilcoxon signed-rank test. When considering the combined influence of ENSO and PDO, the responses of precipitation/streamflow are shown to be opposite in northern China and southern China, with ENSO-related precipitation/streamflow enhanced in northern China and decreased in southern China during the warm PDO phases, and enhanced in southern China and decreased in northern China during the cool PDO phases. It is hoped that this study will be beneficial for understanding the precipitation/streamflow responses to the changing climate and will correspondingly provide valuable reference for water resources prediction and management across China.