Altitude effects of climatic variation on Tibetan Plateau and its vicinities
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High topographies, such as the Tibetan plateau (TP) in China, have been considered as the sensitive areas in response to global climate change. By analyzing the relationship between warming structure and altitude (1 000–5 000 m) in the TP and its vicinities using the 46-year January mean observed temperature data, we found that there was a significant altitude effect of temperature warming onset time (mutation time) on the plateau and the neighboring regions: the higher the altitude, the later the climate warming happens, and vice versa. There also seems a slight altitude effect on warming magnitude: the higher the altitude, the less the warming magnitude. Therefore, the temperature warming in the high altitude area of the TP (below 5 000 m) responds to global warming less sensitively than the low-altitude neighboring areas both in onset time and magnitude, which may be mainly caused by high albedo and large thermal capacity of the ice/snow cover on the higher part of the plateau and possible heat island effect in the lower part of the plateau.
Key Wordsclimatic variation Tibetan plateau altitude effect
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