CLIMATOLOGY AND TRENDS OF THE TEMPORAL AND SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF SANDSTORMS IN INNER MONGOLIA


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Abstract

The temporal and spatial distribution of sandstorms have been investigated statistically for a period of 40 years (1961–2000), using data from 118 observatories in Inner Mongolia, P.R. of China. In terms of climate variations, the effects of changes in climate (affecting parameters such as precipitation, temperature, ENSO activities, etc.), ecological systems and human behavior on the space-time distribution of sandstorms have been studied. It is shown that in Inner Mongolia nearly all sandstorms occurred in the central-western region during 1961–2000. Their frequency decreased from the 1960s to the 1990s. The mean annual variation shows that spring is the main sandstorm season, especially April. In view of connection with climate variations, dry and cold periods correspond with a high frequency of sandstorms, wet and warm periods with a low frequency. With respect to the spatial distribution, sandstorms hit preferably dry and warm regions. There are some relations between ENSO activities and the sandstorm frequency. The sandstorm rate was relatively higher in most of the El Niño years, and in most of the La Niña years the rate was relatively lower.

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