Three Gorges Dam affects regional precipitation



[1] The impact of the Three Gorges Dam (TGD) on regional precipitation is examined through analysis of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) rainfall rate and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) land surface temperature and high-resolution simulation using the Pennsylvania State University-National Center for Atmospheric Research (PSU-NCAR) fifth-generation Mesoscale Model (MM5). The independent satellite data sets and numerical simulation clearly indicate that the land use change associated with the TGD construction has increased the precipitation in the region between Daba and Qinling mountains and reduced the precipitation in the vicinity of the TGD after the TGD water level abruptly rose from 66 to 135 m in June 2003. This study suggests that the climatic effect of the TGD is on the regional scale (∼100 km) rather than on the local scale (∼10 km) as projected in previous studies.