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Spatiotemporal Variations of Water Vapor Content and Its Relationship with Meteorological Elements in the Third Pole

1
Department of Geography and Environment Sciences, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
2
Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Luis Gimeno
Water 2021, 13(13), 1856; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131856
Received: 8 June 2021 / Accepted: 30 June 2021 / Published: 3 July 2021
Water vapor content plays an important role in climate change and the ecosystem in the Tibetan Plateau (TP) through its complicated interaction with the meteorological elements. However, due to the complex topography of the Tibetan Plateau, it is unreliable to attempt to understand the variation pattern of water vapor content using only observational data. Satellite and reanalysis data can be a good substitute for observational data, but their accuracy still needs to be evaluated. Therefore, based on radiosonde stations data, comprehensive assessment of water vapor content on the TP and surrounding areas derived from ERA-5, Second Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA2), Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS)-only, and weighted ensemble data was performed in the context of spatial and temporal distribution at the annual and seasonal scale. Based on precipitation from Gauge V3.0 and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite (TRMM) and temperature from ERA-5, the relationship between water vapor content and temperature and precipitation was analyzed. The results show that water vapor content decreases from southeast to northwest, and ERA-5, MERRA2, and AIRS-only can reasonably reproduce the spatial distribution of annual and seasonal water vapor content, with ERA-5 being more reliable in reproducing the spatial distribution. Over the past 50 years, the water vapor content has shown a gradual increasing trend. The variation trends of AIRS-only, MERRA2, ERA-5, and weighted ensemble data are almost consistent with the radiosonde stations data, with MERRA2 being more reliable in capturing water vapor content over time. Weighted ensemble data is more capable of capturing water vapor content characteristics than simple unweighted products. The empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis shows that the first spatial mode values of water vapor content and temperature are positive over the TP, while the values of precipitation present a “negative-positive-negative” distribution from south to north over the TP. In the second spatial mode of EOF analysis, the values of water vapor content, air temperature, and precipitation are all negative. The first temporal modes of EOF analysis, water vapor content, air temperature, and precipitation all show an increasing trend. In conclusion, there is a clear relationship of water vapor content with temperature and precipitation. View Full-Text
Keywords: Tibetan Plateau and surrounding areas; water vapor content; precipitation; temperature Tibetan Plateau and surrounding areas; water vapor content; precipitation; temperature
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, Z.; Sun, M.; Yao, X.; Zhang, L.; Zhang, H. Spatiotemporal Variations of Water Vapor Content and Its Relationship with Meteorological Elements in the Third Pole. Water 2021, 13, 1856. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131856

AMA Style

Wang Z, Sun M, Yao X, Zhang L, Zhang H. Spatiotemporal Variations of Water Vapor Content and Its Relationship with Meteorological Elements in the Third Pole. Water. 2021; 13(13):1856. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131856

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wang, Zhilan, Meiping Sun, Xiaojun Yao, Lei Zhang, and Hao Zhang. 2021. "Spatiotemporal Variations of Water Vapor Content and Its Relationship with Meteorological Elements in the Third Pole" Water 13, no. 13: 1856. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131856

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