/   Home   /   Newsroom   /   Research News

Central Asia Suffers More Severe Drought in Last Decade

May 18, 2017     Email"> PrintText Size

A recent study conducted by scientists in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China, found that most areas in Central Asia have endured more severe aridification ever since the year of 2000. This study was published in Scientific Reports.

With a new calculation method of Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), a key indicator to evaluate the degree of drought, the research team at Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography of Chinese Academy of Sciences found that no obvious change showed in the index in Central Asia in the last half century.

However, aridification has seen an aggravating trend in about 65 per cent of Central Asia in the last decade, with the high temperature fluctuation in this region.

PDSI is a comprehensive assessment for measuring long-term droughts that recognizes meteorological, agro-ecological and hydrological perspectives. “In examining regional precipitation anomalies under global warming, we found that precipitation in Central Asia showed a slightly downward trend from 2000 to 2014,” said CHEN Yaning, lead author of the study.

Researchers revealed that soil moisture has exhibited a long-term decreasing trend over the past several decades, which is particularly obvious in the most recent (and warmest) decade.

In the meantime, long-term observations from 11 main large headwater catchments in Central Asia showed that river runoffs have shown increasing trends since the 1960s

Central Asian glaciers have melted at four times the global average since the early 1960s, shedding 27 percent of their mass, and the Tien Shan glaciers have lost an average of 5.4 billion tons of ice per year since the 1960s, totaling some 3,000 sq. km, according to a German study.

Located in the hinterland of the Eurasian continent, Central Asia is one of the most arid areas in the world with a unique landscape that features expansive but fragile mountain-oasis-desert ecosystems.

The temperature in Central Asia experienced a sharp increase in 1997, and since then has been in a state of high volatility, making the last decade the warmest period on record.


(Editor: LIU Jia)

Related Articles

CAS;Central Asia;rural area;clean water;drinking water;fresh water

CAS Strives for Helping Central Asia's Rural Area for Clean Water

Sep 05, 2017

Water sustains almost all known life forms on the earth. For human beings, safe clean water is essential though men obtain no calories or organic nutrients from water. This makes safe and clean drinking water focus of attention across the world, especially in the Central ...

water storage;Central Asia;glacier melting;snow cover;climate change

Water Tower of Central Asia Keeps Shrinking: Study

Jan 16, 2017

Total water storage in Central Asia has been decreasing in the last half century due to accelerating glacier melting caused by global warming, a research led by professor CHEN Yaning from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography in Uru...

Contact Us

Copyright © 2002 - Chinese Academy of Sciences