Assessment of human bio-meteorological environment over the Tibetan Plateau region based on CORDEX climate model projections

Abstract

This research mainly evaluates the human bio-meteorological conditions and its changes in the Tibetan Plateau over the past 27 years under the simulation of regional climate models of HadGEM3-RA and RegCM from the CORDEX-East Asia experiments by using the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI). Both models are able to reproduce the present climate realistically. As an extension, the human thermal comfort information about Tibetan Plateau in the next 27 years is projected under the scenarios of RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. The results show that UTCI in Tibetan Plateau covers four stress categories, namely strong cold stress, moderate cold stress, slight cold stress, no thermal stress, and cold stresses, is prevailing throughout the whole year. A small amount of no thermal stress category appears in the summer period and the human bio-meteorological condition is most stable at the same period, especially from July to September. According to the projections in the near future, with climate change taken into account, annual cumulative pleasant days will increase significantly while the cold stresses days will reduce. The distribution frequency of UTCI categories varies among regions showing clear altitude/latitude dependency. Lhasa, Xining, and Yushu will be the top three cities in terms of thermal favourability by analysing the results of both models. The policy of migration, urban planning, tourism authorities, travel agencies, resorts, and tourists in Tibetan Plateau could be beneficial from these results.

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Acknowledgements

We acknowledge the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) in East Asia, which provided the model data (https://cordex-ea.climate.go.kr/main/aboutCordexPage.do). We also thank the Chinese Meteorological Administration, which provided the observation data. Xiaoli Chi is grateful to China’s Scholarship Council (CSC) for the financial support during her PhD study. The authors thank Patricia Margerison for proofreading this paper.

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Correspondence to Sahar Sodoudi.

Appendix

Appendix

Table 3 The correlation coefficient and RMSE for Ta, wind speed, and VP between observation data and the corrected ERA-Interim, HadGEM3-RA, and RegCM data
Table 4 The elevation for different data sets and the difference between observation data and ERA-Interim, RCM data (HadGEM3-RA and RegCM data) (unit m)

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Chi, X., Cubasch, U. & Sodoudi, S. Assessment of human bio-meteorological environment over the Tibetan Plateau region based on CORDEX climate model projections. Theor Appl Climatol 137, 893–907 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-018-2632-0

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