Reassessing long-term drought risk and societal impacts in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, north-east China (1200-2015)

Tang, LingYun, Macdonald, Neil ORCID: 0000-0003-0350-7096, Sangster, Heather ORCID: 0000-0001-6024-9041, Chiverrell, Richard ORCID: 0000-0002-7307-2756 and Gaulton, Rachel
(2020) Reassessing long-term drought risk and societal impacts in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, north-east China (1200-2015). CLIMATE OF THE PAST, 16 (5). pp. 1917-1935.

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<jats:p>Abstract. The occurrence of two severe droughts in north-east China since 2000 has raised attention in the risk presented by droughts. This paper presents a historic drought series for Shenyang in Liaoning Province, north-east China, from 1200 CE to the present with a reconstructed long precipitation series (1906–2015) augmented with historical documentary accounts. Analysis of the instrumental series using a standardized precipitation index (SPI) and extending it using historical records has produced a combined series spanning over 8 centuries. The combined long series was analysed for patterns in drought frequency, severity and typology. Three droughts comparable to those since 2000 occur in the instrumental series during the early 20th century (i.e. 1907, 1916–1918 and 1920–1921), and coeval archival sources reveal the human impacts of these severe droughts. The archival sources demonstrate how reduced vulnerability resulting from societal and cultural changes in the early 20th century helped prevent the loss of life experienced during comparable severe droughts at the end of the 19th century (1887 and 1891). Incorporating a longer temporal perspective to drought analysis shows that onset is often earlier than is documented explicitly within the archives, and so combined SPI series for a region could provide an early warning of drought development expressed as a water deficit in the previous year. Analysis of archival data provides a rich historical description of impacts and societal responses to severe drought. The archives provide a rich historical description of drought impacts and responses at the personal and community level whilst also detailing the different roles played by communities, state and international organizations in responding to events.</jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2020 07:51
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 23:39
DOI: 10.5194/cp-16-1917-2020
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