Evaluation of ERA-interim monthly temperature data over the Tibetan Plateau
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In this study, surface air temperature from 75 meteorological stations above 3000 m on the Tibetan Plateau are applied for evaluation of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) third-generation reanalysis product ERA-Interim in the period of 1979–2010. High correlations ranging from 0.973 to 0.999 indicate that ERA-Interim could capture the annual cycle very well. However, an average root-mean-square error (rmse) of 3.7°C for all stations reveals that ERA-Interim could not be applied directly for the individual sites. The biases can be mainly attributed to the altitude differences between ERA-Interim grid points and stations. An elevation correction method based on monthly lapse rates is limited to reduce the bias for all stations. Generally, ERA-Interim captured the Plateau-Wide annual and seasonal climatologies very well. The spatial variance is highly related to the topographic features of the TP. The temperature increases significantly (10°C–15°C) from the western to the eastern Tibetan Plateau for all seasons, in particular during winter and summer. A significant warming trend (0.49°C/decade) is found over the entire Tibetan Plateau using station time series from 1979–2010. ERA-Interim captures the annual warming trend with an increase rate of 0.33°C /decade very well. The observation data and ERA-Interim data both showed the largest warming trends in winter with values of 0.67°C/decade and 0.41°C/decade, respectively. We conclude that in general ERA-Interim captures the temperature trends very well and ERA-Interim is reliable for climate change investigation over the Tibetan Plateau under the premise of cautious interpretation.
KeywordsReanalysis Air temperature Warming trend Tibetan Plateau
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