Characteristics of drought in Southern China under climatic warming, the risk, and countermeasures for prevention and control
The temporal and spatial characteristics of drought disasters in Southern China were analyzed by using the daily observation data from 252 meteorological stations and drought disaster data in 14 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities of Southern China during 1961-2015. The characteristics of drought disaster risk were determined, and the countermeasures for prevention and control were also suggested. The results showed that the annual precipitation fluctuated and has no obvious linear trend in Southern China in the past 55 years. However, the average annual precipitation decreased significantly and its oscillation amplitude is increasing in the early twenty-first century. The annual average temperature exhibited a significant upward trend in these years in the research area. The increasing rate was even higher than the global means. The temperature has increased since 1976, and an abrupt change was occurred in 1997. Area with high risk of drought was concentrated mainly in Southwest China. With the climatic warming, the drought frequency and intensity and the drought-affected areas have been increasing, as well as the risk of drought disaster. The risk area of secondary highest drought disaster expanded dramatically after 1997. In the future, the occurrence of droughts may increase in Southern China. Therefore, it is necessary to enhance risk management for drought disasters by implementing eco-environmental modifications in the vulnerable areas, as well as ensuring food security in the agricultural production areas, addressing the uneven spatial and temporal distributions of water resources and the discrepancy between supply and demand, and enhancing the prevention and control of drought disaster risk.