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Open AccessArticle

The Precipitation Variations in the Qinghai-Xizang (Tibetan) Plateau during 1961–2015

1
State Key Laboratory of Cryosphere Science, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ricardo Machado Trigo
Atmosphere 2017, 8(5), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8050080
Received: 29 January 2017 / Revised: 13 April 2017 / Accepted: 20 April 2017 / Published: 25 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
The variation of precipitation plays an important role in the eco-hydrological processes and water resources regimes on the Tibetan Plateau (TP). Based on the monthly mean precipitation data of 65 meteorological stations over the TP and surrounding areas from 1961 to 2015, variations, trends and temporal–spatial distribution of precipitation have been studied; furthermore, the possible reasons were also discussed preliminarily. The results show that the annual mean precipitation on the TP was 465.5 mm during 1961–2015. The precipitation in summer (June–August (JJA)) accounted for 60.1% of the whole year’s precipitation, the precipitation in summer half-year (May–October) accounted for 91.0%, while the precipitation in winter half-year (November–April) only accounted for 9.0% of the whole year’s precipitation. During 1961–2015, the annual precipitation trend was 3.8 mm/10a and the seasonal precipitation trends were 3.0 mm/10a, 0.0 mm/10a, −0.1 mm/10a and 0.4 mm/10a in spring, summer, autumn and winter on the TP, respectively. The precipitation has decreased from the southeastern to northwestern TP; the trend of precipitation has decreased with the increase of altitude, but the correlation was not significant. The rising of air temperature and land cover changes may cause the precipitation by changing the hydrological cycle and energy budget. Furthermore, different patterns of atmospheric circulation can also influence precipitation variation in different regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: precipitation; Tibetan Plateau; trends; temporal–spatial distribution; hydrological cycle precipitation; Tibetan Plateau; trends; temporal–spatial distribution; hydrological cycle
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Wan, G.; Yang, M.; Liu, Z.; Wang, X.; Liang, X. The Precipitation Variations in the Qinghai-Xizang (Tibetan) Plateau during 1961–2015. Atmosphere 2017, 8, 80.

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