Wetting tendency in the Central Mekong Basin consistent with climate change-induced atmospheric disturbances already observed in East Asia
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Regional and local trends in rainfall intensity, frequency, seasonality, and extremes were analyzed in the central Mekong Basin in continental Southeast Asia over the period 1953-2004 using the modified Mann-Kendall test, accounting for long-term persistence and the regional average of the Kendall's statistic. Regionally significant and insignificant wetting tendencies of the dry and wet seasons, respectively, were found to be consistent with rainfall alterations in the neighboring southeastern part of China and attributed by previous studies to the weakening of the East Asia Summer and Winter Monsoons. These observations suggest the existence of causal links between global warming and rainfall changes observed in continental Southeast Asia. Although these changes most likely did not alter agricultural production, they confirm the need to account for climate change impacts when assessing water resources availability in this region under rapid economic development.
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