JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2018, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (7): 1270-1282.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20170669

Special Issue: 气候变化与地表过程

• Resource Evaluation • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatio-temporal Variation of Near-surface Temperature Lapse Rates over the Northwestern Tibetan Plateau

SUN Cong-jian1,2, LI Wei1, LI Xin-gong1,2, ZHANG Zi-yu1, CHEN Ruo-xia1, CHEN Wei1   

  1. 1. School of Geographical Sciences, Shanxi Normal University, Linfen 041000, China;
    2. State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, CAS, Urumqi 830011, China
  • Received:2017-06-29 Revised:2017-10-31 Online:2018-07-20 Published:2018-07-20
  • Supported by:
    The General Program of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 2016D01A075

Abstract: The lapse rate of near surface air temperature is an important parameter in hydrologic and climatic simulations, especially in the high mountainous areas without enough observations. Based on the long-term meteorological measurement data (1951-2013) and near surface air temperature (Tmin, Tave, and Tmax) measured by self-established weather stations during 2012-2016, this study evaluates the spatial and temporal variations of near surface temperature lapse rate (βlocal) over the northwestern Tibetan Plateau. The results show that: 1) The near surface air temperature lapse rate has a spatiotemporal distribution pattern over the northwestern Tibetan Plateau and the constant environmental temperature lapse rate (0.65 ℃/100 m) throughout the year cannot represent the variability of the temperature-elevation relationship in complex terrain areas. The temperature has a significant downward trend as the elevation increases. LRTave, LRTmin, LRTmax in two regions showed different spatial variations. The LRTave, LRTmin, LRTmax at the meteorological stations are higher than the LRTave, LRTmin, LRTmax at the mountain observation stations. The LRTmin shows significant spatial variation, while the LRTmax has smaller spatial variation. 2) A significant seasonal variation can be observed in this region. At the meteorological stations, the trend is that higher values are observed in spring and summer and lower values in winter. As for the mountain observation stations, the LRTave, LRTmin, LRTmax are higher in summer and lower in winter. The LRTmax at the meteorological stations and the LRTmin at the mountain observation stations have significant seasonal variations. 3) The variations of βlocal for Tmax and Tmin in two regions exhibit similar monthly variation characteristics, that βlocal is lower in months of winter and spring and higher in other months. Monthly βlocal for Tmin is higher than Tave and Tmin at the meteorological stations through the whole year. The highest βlocal for Tmax and Tmin occurs in April, while the highest βlocal for Tave occurs in June. At the mountain observation stations, the highest βlocal for Tmax occurs in October, while the highest βlocal for Tave and Tmin occurs in April. 4) A significant increasing trend of βlocal for Tave and Tmin was observed after 1990. The difference of βlocal for Tmin before and after 1990 is more obvious. The differences of Tmax at different elevations before and after 1990 are weak. 5) The spatial and temporal variations of βlocal over the northwestern Tibetan Plateau are linked to geographic differences and climate factors. In addition, the controlling factors for the lapse rate in two regions are different. This research will provide a theoretical basis for quantitative researches of temperature distribution characteristics and mountain ecosystem’s response to climate change in mountain areas.

Key words: average air temperature, lapse rates of near-surface air temperature, maximum air temperature, minimum air temperature, the northwestern Tibetan Plateau

CLC Number: 

  • P423.1