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Publication Date
6 November 2015

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



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.

“Changes In Moisture Flux Over The Tibetan Plateau During 1979-2011: Insights From A High-Resolution Simulation”. 2015. Journal Of Climate 28: 4185-4197. doi:10.1175/jcli-d-14-00581.1.
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