The role of land and ocean evaporation on the variability of precipitation in the Yangtze River valley
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Geophysical Institute 
The Yangtze River valley (YRV) experiences large intraseasonal and interannual precipitation variability, which is mainly due to East Asian monsoon influence. The East Asian monsoon is caused by interaction of many processes in the coupled land–atmosphere–ocean system. To better understand YRV precipitation variability in this complex system, we have studied the precipitation moisture sources and their connection to YRV precipitation. We obtained the moisture sources by using the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts' (ECMWF) ERA-Interim reanalysis dataset, the FLEXible PARTicle dispersion model (FLEXPART), and the WaterSip moisture source diagnostic. The variability of moisture sources reflects the variability of YRV precipitation. Intraseasonal variations of moisture sources include a shift of the most important source regions as the monsoon progresses. Interannual variability of the moisture sources shows that sources which are less important climatologically are closely connected to variations of the driest and wettest years. Our results show that land directly contributes 58 % of moisture for YRV precipitation during 1980–2016, whereas the ocean contributes 42 % in direct transport. While the importance of the ocean as a moisture source is often emphasized, our results underscore the importance of the process of continental recycling and the role of land moisture sources.