Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2006, Vol. 61 ›› Issue (3): 327-335.doi: 10.11821/xb200603012

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Review of Studies in Climate Change over the Tibetan Plateau

LI Chaoliu1, KANG Shichang1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, CAS, Beijing 100085, China;
    2. Key Laboratory of Cryosphere and and Environment, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2005-10-19 Revised:2006-01-11 Online:2006-03-25 Published:2006-03-25
  • Supported by:

    "Hundred Talent Program" of CAS; National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40401054; No.40121101; National Basic Research Program of China, No.2005CB422004; Knowledge Innovation Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.KZCX3-SW-339; President Foundation of CAS


As the "third pole" of the world, the Tibetan Plateau has important effects on climate in its surrounding areas and the whole world. Achievements have been gained on climate change since the last inter-glacial period in recent decades from ice core, tree-ring, and lake sediment records over the Tibetan Plateau. In this paper, we reviewed these achievements, especially those in the special periods. During the last inter-glacial period, temperature dropped rapidly and rose slowly. The temperature record of the last glacial period is consistent with Greenland ice core records, also having its own trait over the Tibetan Plateau. Younger Dryas event agrees with the records from Europe and Greenland. It is warm generally in Holocene, and temperature has been rising in the last 2000 years and gone up rapidly in the last decades. Climate changes at different scales on the Tibetan Plateau occur earlier and the extent is greater than that in other parts of China.

Key words: Tibetan Plateau, climate change, ice core, tree-ring, lake sediment