East Asia: Intense surpluses forecast for Guangxi & W. Guangdong

25 April 2019

THE BIG PICTURE
The 12-month forecast for East Asia through December 2019 indicates widespread surpluses in southeastern China and in much of the Tibetan Plateau; intense deficits from western Inner Mongolia across central Xinjiang, and in Taiwan; and moderate to extreme deficits from Shaanxi nearly to Beijing.

Moderate to extreme deficits are also forecast for Mongolia, moderate to severe deficits in Japan and South Korea, and moderate deficits in North Korea.

Widespread surpluses in southeastern China will reach from Shanghai through Guangxi and will be exceptional in Hunan and northeastern Guangxi.

FORECAST BREAKDOWN
The 3-month time series maps below show the evolving conditions in more detail.

The forecast through June indicates that widespread surpluses will persist in southeast and southern China but will downgrade overall in intensity. Primarily moderate to severe surpluses are forecast in a vast stretch from Shanghai through Guangxi. However, anomalies will be extreme to exceptional in Guangxi and into western Guangdong, particularly along the Rong River in Guangxi. Intense surpluses will persist in the Tibetan Plateau.

Intense deficits are forecast for southern and eastern Mongolia and from western Inner Mongolia in China across central Xinjiang, along with conditions of both deficit and surplus as transitions occur. Both deficits and surpluses are also forecast along the Lower and Middle Reaches of the Yellow River and on the Ordos Loop. Primarily moderate deficits are expected in Shaanxi, Shanxi, northern Hubei, and Henan.

Moderate deficits will emerge in North Korea, and moderate to extreme deficits are forecast for South Korea and Honshu and Hokkaido, Japan. Taiwan will transition from deficit to moderate surplus.

From July through September, surpluses in southern and southeastern China will continue to shrink and downgrade leaving moderate surpluses in Guangxi, northern Guangdong, and along the Lower and Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River and some southern tributaries. Surpluses in the Tibetan Plateau will shrink and downgrade as well, though exceptional anomalies will persist in the central region. Exceptional deficits are forecast for a large pocket in western Inner Mongolia along with conditions of both deficit and surplus (purple). Deficits will downgrade overall in Mongolia but remain intense in the south. Much of China’s eastern half north of the Yangtze will see primarily mild deficits, and nearly normal conditions are forecast for the Korean Peninsula and Taiwan. Deficits in Japan will shrink and moderate and some moderate surpluses will emerge in Kyushu.

The forecast for the final three months – October through December – indicates that exceptional deficits will increase in a vast stretch from western Inner Mongolia through northern Qinghai and across the Tarim Basin in Xinjiang. Some moderate surpluses will persist in the central Tibetan Plateau, while scattered deficits are forecast in the south. Moderate deficits are forecast for the Korean Peninsula and severe deficits for southern Honshu, Japan.

(It should be noted that forecast skill declines with longer lead times.)

IMPACTS
Heavy downpours flooded the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen this month, killing 11 people. Those killed were workers dredging local rivers, prompting Guangdong provincial authorities to issue advisories to halt all operations during bouts of heavy rainfall.

The population of Mongolian Saiga antelopes, a critically endangered species, totaled only 3,800 at the end of 2018, a drop of nearly 40 percent year-over-year due to drought-related food shortage, according to the World Wildlife Fund. The population has been unstable over the last two decades, reaching as low as 750 in 2001 following a summer drought and a harsh winter.

The Mongolian Prime Minister announced that the central government will form an independent water management agency.

Agricultural production in China’s Inner Mongolia is migrating to drip irrigation, cutting costs of infrastructure and labor as well as water use for thirsty corn fields. China’s central government will be extensively promoting agricultural water-conservation projects to ensure both food and water security. Surface water resources in Inner Mongolia shrank by 16 percent between 2000 and 2016.

NOTE ON ADMINISTRATIVE BOUNDARIES
There are numerous regions around the world where country borders are contested. ISciences depicts country boundaries on these maps solely to provide some geographic context. The boundaries are nominal, not legal, descriptions of each entity. The use of these boundaries does not imply any judgement on the legal status of any territory, or any endorsement or acceptance of disputed boundaries on the part of ISciences or our data providers.

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Many analyses reported in ISciences-authored blog posts are based on data generated by the ISciences Water Security Indicator Model (WSIM). Other sources, if used, are referenced in footnotes accompanying individual posts. WSIM is a validated capability that produces monthly reports on current and forecast global freshwater surpluses and deficits with lead times of 1-9 months at 0.5°x0.5° resolution. This capability has been in continuous operation since April 2011 and has proven to provide reliable forecasts of emerging water security concerns in that time-frame. WSIM has the ability to assess the impacts of water anomalies on people, agriculture, and electricity generation. Detailed data, customized visualizations, and reports are available for purchase.

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