Climate Change Research ›› 2012, Vol. 8 ›› Issue (5): 313-319.doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1673-1719.2012.05.001

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Surface Air Temperature Variability and Its Relationship with Altitude & Latitude over the Tibetan Plateau in 1981-2010


  • Received:2012-05-04 Revised:2012-07-06 Online:2012-09-30 Published:2012-09-30
  • Contact: Peng-Ling wang
  • Supported by:

    Open Research Fund of Key Laboratory of Tibetan Environmental Changes and Land Surface Processes, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Abstract: Based on the high-quality and homogenized surface station meteorological data over the Tibetan Plateau, surface air temperature variability characteristics were analyzed in this high-elevation area during 1981-2010. The results show that, the Tibetan Plateau on the whole experienced remarkable warming, and the station averaged temperature trend magnitude was 0.40℃/10a for the annual mean, with higher temperature increasing rate in winter and spring, followed by autumn and summer. The temperature in the Three-River Headwaters region, central-western Tibet and northern Qinghai exhibited the most significant rising trends. The altitude dependency in annual, winter, spring and autumn average temperature over the Tibetan Plateau were confirmed during the research period, and station temperature trend magnitude generally increased by 0.1℃/10a for the annual mean with station elevation rising by 1000 m, with more prominent altitude dependency during the winter season. While the temperature trend magnitude in summer showed distinct latitude gradient, and there was a clear signal of latitude dependency for the temperature trend magnitude in summer, with temperature trend magnitude increasing by 0.33℃/10a with 10°increase for station latitude.

Key words: Tibetan Plateau, air temperature variability, regional difference, altitude, latitude

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