The significant climate warming in the northern Tibetan Plateau and its possible causes

Authors

  • Donglin Guo,

    Corresponding author
    1. Nansen-Zhu International Research Center, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    • Nansen-Zhu International Research Center, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 9804, Beijing 100029, China.
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  • Huijun Wang

    1. Nansen-Zhu International Research Center, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
    2. Climate Change Research Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
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Abstract

We have identified the northern Tibetan Plateau as having experienced the most significant warming of any region in the entire plateau domain since 1961. Warming in the northern plateau violates the previously suggested elevation dependency of warming trends. Further analysis shows that the increase in surface air temperature in summer has played a primary role in the rapid increase of the annual mean air temperature in the northern Tibetan Plateau since the mid-1980s. In addition, the summer air temperature is correlated with ozone in the region, a result which is statistically significant. This correlation seems to have a relationship with solar radiation and ozone depletion ratios. Further discussion shows that the most significant warming in the northern plateau may be related to radiative and dynamical heating that are results of pronounced stratospheric ozone depletion. Copyright © 2011 Royal Meteorological Society

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