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CR 28:23-30 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/cr028023

Variability in climatology and agricultural production in China in association with the East Asian summer monsoon and El Niño southern oscillation

Fulu Tao1, 2,*, Masayuki Yokozawa2, Zhao Zhang3, Yousay Hayashi3, Hartmut Grassl4, Congbin Fu5

1Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Institute of Agricultural Environment and Sustainable Development, Beijing 100081, China
2National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, 3-1-3 Kannondai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8604, Japan
3Institute of Geoscience, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8571, Japan
4Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Department for Climate Processes, Bundesstrasse 55, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
5START Regional Center for Temperate East Asia, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China

ABSTRACT: The East Asian monsoon (EAM) and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) determine climate variability over much of East Asia, affecting vulnerable grain markets and food security in China. In this study, we investigated the variability of climate and of agricultural production in China in association with the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) and ENSO. Data from China showed that a strong EASM decreased fall temperature in Gansu and Sichuan Provinces in western China, as well as winter temperature in Heilongjiang province in NE China and in Shandong and Anhui Provinces in eastern China. Summer rainfall in Hunan Province in southern China increased in weak EASM years. Summer temperature increased in Heilongjiang in NE China and Gansu province in NW China during the La Niña phase. Summer rainfall decreased in Gansu province in NW China during the El Niño phase. Among staple crops in China (rice, wheat, maize), maize production was very vulnerable to a strong EASM and El Niño phase. In Henan province in central China, seasonal climate variability associated with EASM and ENSO resulted in about 14.4 and 15.6%, respectively, of maize yield variability. Maize yield at the national scale decreased significantly by 5.2% during the El Niño phase. Cropland area affected and damaged by floods in Hunan province in southern China increased significantly by 11.3 and 8.5%, respectively, in weak monsoon years. During the La Niña phase, total crop planting area increased significantly in Shandong, Henan and Anhui Provinces in central China, and in Heilongjiang province in NE China; however, it decreased significantly in Sichuan province in SW China. The large variability in seasonal climate and agricultural production in association with EASM and ENSO warrant applying EASM and ENSO information to agricultural and food market management.

KEY WORDS: Agriculture · China · Climate variability · ENSO · Monsoon · Food security · Warning system

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