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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(6), 493;

Analysis of the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau Monsoon Evolution and Its Linkages with Soil Moisture

1,* , 1
Key Laboratory of Land Surface Process and Climate Change in Cold and Arid Regions, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Zhongbo Su, Yijian Zeng, Zoltan Vekerdy, Soe Myint and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 4 March 2016 / Revised: 26 May 2016 / Accepted: 3 June 2016 / Published: 10 June 2016
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The evolution of plateau monsoons is essential to synoptic climatology processes over the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau. Based on ERA-Interim Reanalysis data covering 1979–2014 from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), we propose a new plateau monsoon index (ZPMI) that can effectively reflect the evolution of monsoons and compare this new index with the existing Plateau Monsoon Indices (PMI), i.e., the Traditional Plateau Monsoon Index (TPMI), the Dynamic Plateau Monsoon Index (DPMI), and the PMI proposed by Qi et al. (QPMI). The results show that the onset and retreat of plateau monsoons determined by the TPMI are approximately 1–2 months earlier than those of the ZPMI and DPMI and that the ZPMI can better reflect seasonal and inter-annual variations in precipitation over the plateau. The plateau summer and winter monsoons have similar inter-annual and inter-decadal variation characteristics and show a rising trend, but the increasing trend of the summer monsoon is more significant. The ZPMI is also capable of effectively reflecting meteorological elements. In stronger plateau summer monsoon years, more (less) precipitation and a higher (lower) air temperature appear over the eastern and central (western) plateau. The ZPMI and soil moisture in April and May are used to explore the influence of soil moisture on plateau monsoons, and a significant correlation is found between the plateau soil moisture in the spring (April–May) and plateau summer monsoons. It is found that when the soil moisture over the central and eastern plateau is higher (lower) than normal (while the soil moisture over the western plateau is lower (higher)), the plateau summer monsoon may be stronger (weaker). View Full-Text
Keywords: Qinghai-Xizang Plateau; monsoon; plateau monsoon index; soil moisture Qinghai-Xizang Plateau; monsoon; plateau monsoon index; soil moisture

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Zhou, J.; Wen, J.; Wang, X.; Jia, D.; Chen, J. Analysis of the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau Monsoon Evolution and Its Linkages with Soil Moisture. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 493.

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