A century of precipitation trends in forest lands of the Lower Mississippi River Alluvial Valley

Abstract

Variations in long-term precipitation trends due to climate forcings have been observed in many
parts of the world, exacerbating hydrological uncertainties to predicting droughts, floods, water
resource availability, and ecosystem services. The Lower Mississippi River Alluvial Valley (LMRAV) is
an important economic region of the midsouth USA, which is prone to natural disasters from extreme
climate events and is known historically for cyclic flooding events and, within the last 20 years, for
groundwater level declines. However, our knowledge of long-term precipitation trends in this region
is fragmented. Using 100-year historic daily precipitation data from six stations of forest lands along
with multivariate statistical analysis, we found that there were significant increasing trends (p ≤ 0.05)
in annual precipitation near the south coastal area of the LMRAV and only marginally increasing trends
in the northern area. Spatial variation in seasonality was observed at the decadal scale with increasing
trends in fall near the coastal area and in spring around the north area. In addition to becoming wetter,
the coastal area also experienced higher precipitation intensity with shorter return period over the
past 100 years. These findings are useful to water resource managers for adapting to changing climate
conditions in the LMRAV.

  • Citation: Ouyang, Ying; Zhang, Jiaen; Feng, Gary; Wan, Yongshan; Leininger, Theodor D. 2020. A century of precipitation trends in forest lands of the Lower Mississippi River Alluvial Valley. Scientific Reports. 10(1): 151-. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-69508-8.
  • Keywords: forest land, century trend, Lower Mississippi River Alluvial Valley, precipitation
  • Posted Date: July 30, 2020
  • Modified Date: August 5, 2020
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