Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 117, Issue 3–4, pp 613–624 | Cite as

Thermal comfort and tourism climate changes in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau in the last 50 years

Original Paper


In this paper, the thermal comfort and its changes in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau over the last 50 years have been evaluated by using the physiological equivalent temperature (PET), and a more complete tourism climate picture is presented by the Climate–Tourism–Information Scheme (CTIS). The results show that PET classes in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau cover six out of the nine-point thermal sensation scale — very cold, cold, cool, slightly cool, neutral and slightly warm — and cold stress is prevailing throughout the year. A small number of slightly cool/warm and neutral days occur in summer months. There occur no warm, hot and very hot days. The frequency of PET classes varies among regions, depending on their altitude/latitude conditions. Xining, Lhasa and Yushu are the top three cities in terms of thermal favorability. With global warming, annual cumulative number of thermally favorable days has been increasing, and that of cold stress has been reducing. The change is more obvious in lower elevation than that in higher elevation regions. The improving thermal comfort in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau might be a glad tiding for local communities and tourists. Besides PET, CTIS can provide a number of additional bioclimatic information related to tourism and recreational activities. CTIS for Lhasa and Xining shows that sunshine is plentiful all the year round, and windy days occur frequently from late January to early May. This is a useful bioclimatic information for tourism authorities, travel agencies, resorts and tourists.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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