PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2012, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (11): 1503-1509.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2012.11.011

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Research Progresses of Surface Temperature Characteristic Change over Tibetan Plateau since 1960

SONG Ci, PEI Tao, ZHOU Chenghu   

  1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Reeasch, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2012-02-01 Revised:2012-08-01 Online:2012-11-25 Published:2012-11-25

Abstract: As the largest plateau in China and highest plateau on the earth, the Tibetan Plateau has a significant impact on global climate. This article reviews the progress of the study of the characteristics of the surface air temperature change over the Tibetan Plateau in the last 50 years and the causes for the change. The conclusions are as follows. (1) In the last 50 years, the surface air temperature over the Tibetan Plateau has clearly increased, through a cold period (mid-1960s to early 1980s) and a warm period (mid-1980s to present) with increasing fluctuations and the abrupt changes in the 1980s, showing an alternating“low and high”overall upward trend. (2) The upward trend of the lowest temperature and that of the highest temperatures are not in parallel. In other words, the lowest temperatures have increased more dramatically than the highest temperatures. In addition, the frequency and the intensity of the extreme events have also changed, with extreme low temperature events decreasing significantly and extreme high temperature events increasing slightly. (3) As the indices of the biological events, the accumulated temperatures and their time durations have increased as well. In spatial scale, the temperature in the Tibetan Plateau has shown an overall increase, with the change to a greater extent in the west than that in the east, and an opposite phase zonally. (4) Many factors affect the surface air temperature change over the Tibetan Plateau, such as sunspot cycle, various meteorological elements in the plateau and the atmospheric circulation.

Key words: accumulated temperature, biological temperature indices, surface temperature characteristic, Tibetan Plateau