Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 75 ›› Issue (1): 82-97.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202001007

• Earth Surface Process • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effect of soil moisture variation on near-surface air temperature over the Tibetan Plateau

FAN Keke1,2,3, ZHANG Qiang1,2,3(), SUN Peng4, SONG Changqing1,2,3, YU Huiqian1,2,3, ZHU Xiudi1,2,3, SHEN Zexi1,2,3   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Environmental Change and Natural Disaster, Ministry of Education, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    2. Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    3. Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    4. College of Geography and Tourism, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu 241002, Anhui, China
  • Received:2018-05-07 Revised:2019-11-20 Online:2020-01-25 Published:2020-03-25
  • Contact: ZHANG Qiang
  • Supported by:
    The Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research Program(2019QZKK0906);National Key R&D Program of China(2019YFA0606900);National Natural Science Foundation of China(51425903);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41771536)


The Tibetan Plateau is one of the most sensitive regions to global climate change. It is of important theoretical significance to explore the effect of soil moisture changes on near-surfaceair temperature for the study of the water cycle of the Tibetan Plateau and its impact on the surrounding climate and environment. Based on the NCEP-CFSR dataset, this paper reveals the spatial-temporal pattern of soil moisture content in different seasons and different vegetation zones on the Tibetan Plateau, the response and coupling of soil moisture and evaporation rate, and the impact of soil moisture on near-surface air temperature through evapotranspiration. The results show that: (1) The spatial pattern of soil water on the Tibetan Plateau is basically similar in different seasons, showing a decreasing trend from southeast to northwest and the spatial characteristics of drying in humid regions and wetting in arid regions; (2) The soil moisture in most parts of the Tibetan Plateau is in a transitional state, in which the southern and southeastern parts of the plateau are in a state of transition throughout the year, while the soil moisture in the Qaidam Basin is almost in a dry state all the year round; (3) The sensitivity of the near-surface air temperature to soil moisture is the weakest in winter, but the strongest in summer with weak spatial difference, which is negative feedback in winter, spring and summer. Moreover, the sensitivity of air temperature to soil moisture varies greatly in different vegetation coverage areas. This study has important theoretical significance for further exploring the regional water cycle and its effects under the coupled land-atmosphere state and the changing environment of the Tibetan Plateau.

Key words: Tibetan Plateau, soil moisture, near-surface air temperature, evaporation rate, conversion mechanism