Seasonal Characteristics of Droughts

A drought in China can be classified as a spring, summer, autumn, or winter drought on a temporal or seasonal scale. The Qin Ling Mountains and Huaihe River serve as an approximate dividing line on a spatial scale. North of the dividing line mainly spring and summer droughts occur, while south of the dividing line mainly summer, autumn, and winter droughts occur. In some years, droughts persist for two or more consecutive seasons and become highly destructive. The spring-summer and spring-summer-autumn droughts are most frequent in Huanghuaihai region (North China Plain), and spring-summer droughts are most frequent in northeast regions of China. Winter-spring droughts mainly occur in southwest and south China, while the year long and summer-autumn droughts occur in north-

Table 28.1 Area damaged by agricultural disasters in China

Decade

Total area damaged by natural hazards (10,000 ha)

Drought-damaged area (10,000 ha)

Drought-damaged area as percentage of the total

1950s

2207.3

1162.1

48

1960s

3780.4

2177.4

57

1970s

4390.5

2855.5

65

1980s

4208.6

2414.1

57

1990s

4949.7

2489.2

50

Source: State Statistical Bureau (1996).

Source: State Statistical Bureau (1996).

west China and in the middle and lower reaches of Yangtze River, respectively (Li and Lin, 1993).

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