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Scientists Reanalyze Air Temperature Products in Permafrost regions on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

Jun 18, 2019     Email"> PrintText Size

Surface air temperature has been demonstrated to be the most important and direct indicator of climate change and has been shown to play a critical role in ecosystems, hydrological processes, and energy balance on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). 

However, current studies on surface air temperature are concentrated in the central and eastern regions of the QTP, with the hinterland of the QTP being less due to the lack of observational data, where lies the major permafrost regions. 

Recently, a research group from Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources (NIEER) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences monitored daily surface air temperatures at five sites from 2011 to 2015 in permafrost regions on the QTP to evaluate the performance of five different reanalysis air temperature products. 

The results from this study demonstrated that the ERA-Interim air temperature products exhibited the lowest error at the majority of monitoring sites and represented the best performance air temperature products for all sites.  

Besides, this study demonstrated a warming trend present in month, seasonal, and annual mean air temperature from the calibration results collected from 1980 to 2015. 

These results demonstrated that the largest warming trend was observed in February, while the smallest warming trend was observed in March. 

In addition, scientists showed that all air temperatures warmed fastest in the summer and winter, more slowly in autumn, and the slowest in spring at the majority of sites tested. 

These findings generate a useful tool for the recognizing of the variation in permafrost under climate change in permafrost regions on the QTP. 

The study entitled "Evaluation of Reanalysis Air Temperature Products in Permafrost Regions on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau" was published in Theoretical and Applied Climatology. 


 Map of monitoring sites on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (Image by HU Guojie)

(Editor: ZHANG Nannan)

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