Articles | Volume 21, issue 6
Research article
30 Mar 2021
Research article |  | 30 Mar 2021

Observed trends in clouds and precipitation (1983–2009): implications for their cause(s)

Xiang Zhong, Shaw Chen Liu, Run Liu, Xinlu Wang, Jiajia Mo, and Yanzi Li

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Cited articles

Adler, R. F., Gu, G., Sapiano, M., Wang, J.-J., and Huffman, G. J.: Global precipitation: Means, variations and trends during the Satellite Era (1979–2014), Surv. Geophys., 38, 679–699,, 2017. 
Allen, M. R. and Ingram, W. J.: Constraints of future changes in climate and the hydrologic cycle, Nature, 419, 224–232,, 2002. 
Arkin, P. A. and Meisner, B. N.: The relationship between large-scale convective rainfall and cold cloud over the western hemisphere during 1982–84, Mon. Weather Rev., 115, 51–74,<0051:TRBLSC>2.0.CO;2, 1987. 
Bretherton, C. S., Widmann, M., Dymnikov, V. P., Wallace, J. M., and Bladé, I.: The effective number of spatial degrees of freedom of a time-varying field, J. Climate, 12, 1990–2009,<1990:TENOSD>2.0.CO;2, 1999. 
Chen, Y.-J., Hwang, Y.-T., Zelinka, M. D., and Zhou, C.: Distinct patterns of cloud changes associated with decadal variability and their contribution to observed cloud cover trends, J. Climate, 32, 7281–7301,, 2019. 
Short summary
The distributions of linear trends in total cloud cover and precipitation in 1983–2009 are both characterized by a broadening of the major ascending zone of Hadley circulation around the Maritime Continent. The broadening is driven primarily by the moisture–convection–latent-heat feedback cycle under global warming conditions. Contribution by other climate oscillations is secondary. The reduction of total cloud cover in China in 1957–2005 is driven by the same mechanism.
Final-revised paper