Science in China Series D: Earth Sciences

, Volume 44, Issue 9, pp 858–864 | Cite as

Climatic features of atmospheric heat source/sink over the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau in 35 years and its relation to rainfall in China

  • Ping Zhao
  • Longxun Chen


Using the 1961–1995 monthly averaged meteorological data from 148 surface stations in the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau (QXP) and its surrounding areas, calculation of the 35-year atmospheric heat source/sink (<Qi>) and an analysis on its climatic features and relation to rainfall in China have been made. It is found that on the average, the atmospheric heat source over the QXP is the strongest in June (78 W / m2) and cold source is the strongest in December (−72 W/m2). The sensible heat of the surface increases remarkably over the southwest of the QXP, causing the obvious increase of <Qi> there in February and March, which makes a center of the atmospheric heat source appear over the north slope of the Himalayas. Afterwards, this center continues to intensify and experiences noticeable migration westwards twice, separately occurring in April and June. The time when the atmosphere over the east of the QXP becomes heat source and reaches strongest is one month later than that over the southwest of the QXP. In summer, the latent heat of condensation becomes a heating factor as important as the sensible heat and is also a main factor that makes the atmospheric heat source over the east of the QXP continue growing. On the interdecadal time scale, (Q1) of the QXP shows an abrupt change in 1977 and a remarkable increase after 1977. The atmospheric heat source of the spring over the QXP is a good indicator for the subsequent summer rainfall over the valleys of the Changjiang and Huaihe rivers and South China and North China. There is remarkable positive correlation between the QXP heat source of summer and the summer rainfall in the valleys of the Changjiang River.


Qinghai-Xizang Plateau atmospheric heat source/sink climatic characteristic rainfall in China 


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Copyright information

© Science in China Press 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chinese Academy of Meteorological SciencesBeijingChina

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