Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 76 ›› Issue (9): 2297-2311.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202109018

• Climate Change and Land Surface Process • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatiotemporal patterns of precipitation changes and their impacts on food supply in Southwest China from 1988 to 2018: A case study in Yunnan Province

LIU Zhilin(), DING Yinping, JIAO Yuanmei()   

  1. Faculty of Geography, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650500, China
  • Received:2020-08-11 Revised:2021-04-20 Online:2021-09-25 Published:2021-11-25
  • Contact: JIAO Yuanmei;
  • Supported by:
    National Key Research and Development Program of China(2018YFE0184300);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41761115);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41271203);Key Research Projects of Graduate Students in Yunnan Normal University(ysdyjs2019166)


As the effects of climate change become more devastating, the changes of precipitation patterns and food supply are and will be major challenges facing mankind nowadays and in the future. But the interannual relationship between the precipitation patterns and the food yields is still unclear. Studying changes in food yields and precipitation in those areas where the southwest and southeast monsoons interact is significant to revealing the dynamic correlation of food and precipitation, achieving regional food security, ensuring the stability of the southwestern frontier, implementing regional ethnic policies, and building a harmonious well-off society. The paper takes Yunnan Province in Southwest China as an example to describe the pattern of precipitation changes from 1988 to 2018 and discusses its impact on food production. The results suggested that: (1) The precipitation patterns of Yunnan are classified into three periods: Ⅰ abundance period (1988-2004), Ⅱ shortage period (2005-2015), and Ⅲ recovery period (2016-2018). (2) Areas with significant changes account for 15.07% of the whole province in periods I-Ⅱ to 13.87% in periods II-Ⅲ and to 16.53% in periods I-Ⅲ. (3) There is a significant positive relationship between precipitation and food supply (p < 0.01) across the province. The correlation index between crops yields and precipitation of the three periods is higher than that between precipitation and meat-and-dairy products. (4) In three precipitation value (d) zones, food yields had different responses to changes in precipitation. When d ≥ 1500 mm, the precipitation plummets while the food yield remains stable. When 1500 > d > 700 mm, the two values will decrease simultaneously. When d < 700 mm, a small decrease in precipitation will cause a large decrease in food yields. All in all, the precipitation pattern in Yunnan has undergone significant changes in the past 30 years, which has an essential impact on the food yields in different regions. Therefore, sorting out the grain-precipitation spatial region of the province can help us combat the increasing precipitation pattern changes.

Key words: precipitation pattern, spatial and temporal patterns, food supply, change, response, division into districts, Yunnan