Changes in Moisture Flux over the Tibetan Plateau During 1979-2011: Insights from a High-Resolution Simulation

TitleChanges in Moisture Flux over the Tibetan Plateau During 1979-2011: Insights from a High-Resolution Simulation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
JournalJournal of Climate
Volume28
Date Published05/2015
Abstract / Summary

Net precipitation [precipitation minus evapotranspiration (P 2 E)] changes between 1979 and 2011 from a high-resolution regional climate simulation and its reanalysis forcing are analyzed over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) and compared to the Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) product. The high-resolution simulation better resolves precipitation changes than its coarse-resolution forcing, which contributes dominantly to the improved P2E change in the regional simulation compared to the global reanalysis. Hence, the former may provide better insights about the drivers of P 2 E changes. The mechanism behind the P 2 E changes is explored by decomposing the column integrated moisture flux convergence into thermodynamic, dynamic, and transient eddy components. High-resolution climate simulation improves the spatial pattern of P 2 E changes over the best available global reanalysis. High-resolution climate simulation also facilitates new and substantial findings regarding the role of thermodynamics and transient eddies in P 2 E changes reflected in observed changes in major river basins fed by runoff from the TP. The analysis reveals the contrasting convergence/divergence changes between the northwestern and southeastern TP and feedback through latent heat release as an important mechanism leading to the mean P 2 E changes in the TP.

URLhttp://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00581.1
DOI10.1175/jcli-d-14-00581.1.
Journal: Journal of Climate
Year of Publication: 2015
Volume: 28
Date Published: 05/2015

Net precipitation [precipitation minus evapotranspiration (P 2 E)] changes between 1979 and 2011 from a high-resolution regional climate simulation and its reanalysis forcing are analyzed over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) and compared to the Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) product. The high-resolution simulation better resolves precipitation changes than its coarse-resolution forcing, which contributes dominantly to the improved P2E change in the regional simulation compared to the global reanalysis. Hence, the former may provide better insights about the drivers of P 2 E changes. The mechanism behind the P 2 E changes is explored by decomposing the column integrated moisture flux convergence into thermodynamic, dynamic, and transient eddy components. High-resolution climate simulation improves the spatial pattern of P 2 E changes over the best available global reanalysis. High-resolution climate simulation also facilitates new and substantial findings regarding the role of thermodynamics and transient eddies in P 2 E changes reflected in observed changes in major river basins fed by runoff from the TP. The analysis reveals the contrasting convergence/divergence changes between the northwestern and southeastern TP and feedback through latent heat release as an important mechanism leading to the mean P 2 E changes in the TP.

DOI: 10.1175/jcli-d-14-00581.1.
Citation:
2015.  "Changes in Moisture Flux over the Tibetan Plateau During 1979-2011: Insights from a High-Resolution Simulation."  Journal of Climate 28.  https://doi.org/10.1175/jcli-d-14-00581.1..