IMHE OpenIR  > Journal of Mountain Science  > Journal of Mountain Science-2011  > Vol8 No.6
Effect of altitude and latitude on surface air temperature across the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
Wang Keli; Sun Jia; Cheng Guodong; Jiang Hao
Corresponding AuthorWang, KL (reprint author), Chinese Acad Sci, Cold & Arid Reg Environm & Engn Res Inst, Lanzhou 730000, Peoples R China.
AbstractThe correlation between mean surface air temperature and altitude is analyzed in this paper based on the annual and monthly mean surface air temperature data from 106 weather stations over the period 1961-2003 across the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The results show that temperature variations not only depend on altitude but also latitude, and there is a gradual decrease in temperature with the increasing altitude and latitude. The overall trend for the vertical temperature lapse rate for the whole plateau is approximately linear. Three methods, namely multivariate composite analysis, simple correlation and traditional stepwise regression, were applied to analyze these three correlations. The results assessed with the first method are well matched to those with the latter two methods. The apparent mean annual near-surface lapse rate is -4.8 A degrees C /km and the latitudinal effect is -0.87 A degrees C /(o)latitude. In summer, the altitude influences the temperature variations more significantly with a July lapse rate of -4.3A degrees C /km and the effect of latitude is only -0.28A degrees C /(o)latitude. In winter, the reverse happens. The temperature decrease is mainly due to the increase in latitude. The mean January lapse rate is -5.0A degrees C /km, while the effect of latitude is -1.51A degrees C /(o)latitude. Comparative analysis for pairs of adjacent stations shows that at a small spatial scale the difference in altitude is the dominant factor affecting differences in mean annual near-surface air temperature, aided to some extent by differences of latitude. In contrast, the lapse rate in a small area is greater than the overall mean value for the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (5 to 13A degrees C /km). An increasing trend has been detected for the surface lapse rate with increases in altitude. The temperature difference has obvious seasonal variations, and the trends for the southern group of stations (south of 33A degrees latitude) and for the more northerly group are opposite, mainly because of the differences in seasonal variation at low altitudes. For yearly changes, the temperature for high-altitude stations occurs earlier clearly. Temperature datasets at high altitude stations are well-correlated, and those in Nanjing were lagged for 1 year but less for contemporaneous correlations. The slope of linear trendline of temperature change for available years is clearly related to altitude, and the amplitude of temperature variation is enlarged by high altitude. The change effect in near-surface lapse rate at the varying altitude is approximately 1.0A degrees C /km on the rate of warming over a hundred-year period.
KeywordQinghai-tibet Plateau Surface Air Temperature Vertical Lapse Rate Altitude Latitude
Document Type期刊论文
CollectionJournal of Mountain Science _Journal of Mountain Science-2011_Vol8 No.6
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Wang Keli,Sun Jia,Cheng Guodong,et al. Effect of altitude and latitude on surface air temperature across the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau[J]. JOURNAL OF MOUNTAIN SCIENCE,2011,8(6):808–816.
APA Wang Keli,Sun Jia,Cheng Guodong,&Jiang Hao.(2011).Effect of altitude and latitude on surface air temperature across the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.JOURNAL OF MOUNTAIN SCIENCE,8(6),808–816.
MLA Wang Keli,et al."Effect of altitude and latitude on surface air temperature across the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau".JOURNAL OF MOUNTAIN SCIENCE 8.6(2011):808–816.
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