Climate change on the northern Tibetan plateau during 1957-2009: Spatial patterns and possible mechanisms

Gridded daily precipitation, temperature minima and maxima, and wind speed are generated for the northern Tibetan Plateau (NTP) for 1957-2009 using observations from 81 surface stations. Evaluation reveals reasonable quality and suitability of the gridded data for climate and hydrology analysis. The Mann-Kendall trends of various climate elements of the gridded data show that NTP has in general experienced annually increasing temperature and decreasing wind speed but spatially varied precipitation changes. The northwest (northeast) NTP became dryer (wetter), while there were insignificant changes in precipitation in the south. Snowfall has decreased along high mountain ranges during the wet and warm season. Averaged over the entire NTP, snowfall, temperature minima and maxima, and wind speed experienced statistically significant linear trends at rates of -0.52 mm yr⁻¹ (water equivalent), +0.04°C yr⁻¹, +0.03°C yr⁻¹, and -0.01 m s⁻¹ yr⁻¹, respectively. Correlation between precipitation/wind speed and climate indices characterizing large-scale weather systems for four subregions in NTP reveals that changes in precipitation and wind speed in winter can be attributed to changes in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the Arctic Oscillation (AO), the East Asian westerly jet (WJ), and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) (wind speed only). In summer, the changes in precipitation and wind are only weakly related to these indices. It is speculated that in addition to the NAO, AO, ENSO, WJ, and the East and South Asian summer monsoons, local weather systems also play important roles.

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Author Cuo, L.
Zhang, Yongxin
Wang, Q.
Zhang, L.
Zhou, B.
Hao, Z.
Su, F.
Publisher UCAR/NCAR - Library
Publication Date 2013-01-01T00:00:00
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) Not Assigned
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Topic Category geoscientificInformation
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Metadata Date 2023-08-18T18:49:36.133777
Metadata Record Identifier edu.ucar.opensky::articles:12564
Metadata Language eng; USA
Suggested Citation Cuo, L., Zhang, Yongxin, Wang, Q., Zhang, L., Zhou, B., Hao, Z., Su, F.. (2013). Climate change on the northern Tibetan plateau during 1957-2009: Spatial patterns and possible mechanisms. UCAR/NCAR - Library. Accessed 19 May 2024.

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