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Journal of Arid Land  2020, Vol. 12 Issue (3): 397-412    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0098-2
Spatial-temporal characteristics and influencing factors of relative humidity in arid region of Northwest China during 1966-2017
CHEN Ditao1,2,3, LIU Wenjiang4, HUANG Farong1,2,4, LI Qian1,2,3, Friday UCHENNA-OCHEGE1,3,5, LI Lanhai1,2,3,4,6,7,*()
1 State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China
2 Ili Station for Watershed Ecosystem Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xinyuan 835800, China
3 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
4 CAS Research Center for Ecology and Environment in Central Asia, Urumqi 830011, China
5 Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcount 500102, Nigeria
6 Xinjiang Regional Center of Resources and Environmental Science Instrument, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China
7 Xinjiang Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Utilization in Arid Zone, Urumqi 830011, China
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Playing an important role in global warming and plant growth, relative humidity (RH) has profound impacts on production and living, and can be used as an integrated indicator for evaluating the wet-dry conditions in the arid and semi-arid area. However, information on the spatial-temporal variation and the influencing factors of RH in these regions is still limited. This study attempted to use daily meteorological data during 1966-2017 to reveal the spatial-temporal characteristics of RH in the arid region of Northwest China through rotated empirical orthogonal function and statistical analysis method, and the path analysis was used to clarify the impact of temperature (T), precipitation (P), actual evapotranspiration (ETa), wind speed (W) and sunshine duration (S) on RH. The results demonstrated that climatic conditions in North Xinjiang (NXJ) was more humid than those in Hexi Corridor (HXC) and South Xinjiang (SXJ). RH had a less significant downtrend in NXJ than that in HXC, but an increasingly rising trend was observed in SXJ during the last five decades, implying that HXC and NXJ were under the process of droughts, while SXJ was getting wetter. There was a turning point for the trend of RH in Xinjiang, which occurred in 2000. Path analysis indicated that RH was negatively correlated to T, ETa, W and S, but it increased with increase of P. S, T and W had the greatest direct effects on RH in HXC, NXJ and SXJ, respectively. ETa was the factor which had the greatest indirect effect on RH in HXC and NXJ, while T was the dominant factor in SXJ.

Key wordsrelative humidity      spatial-temporal characteristics      path analysis      influencing factor      arid region     
Received: 29 March 2019      Published: 10 May 2020
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Cite this article:

CHEN Ditao, LIU Wenjiang, HUANG Farong, LI Qian, Friday UCHENNA-OCHEGE, LI Lanhai. Spatial-temporal characteristics and influencing factors of relative humidity in arid region of Northwest China during 1966-2017. Journal of Arid Land, 2020, 12(3): 397-412.

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