Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2012, Vol. 67 ›› Issue (11): 1471-1481.doi: 10.11821/xb201211004

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Impact of Climate Change on Actual Evapotranspiration on the Tibetan Plateau during 1981-2010

YIN Yunhe, WU Shaohong, ZHAO Dongsheng, ZHENG Du, PAN Tao   

  1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2012-06-12 Revised:2012-07-18 Online:2012-11-20 Published:2012-11-20
  • Supported by:

    The "Strategic Priority Research Program" of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.XDA05090304; Project for Public Service from Ministry of Environmental Protection of China, No.201009056; National Key Technology Research and Development Program, No.2009BAC61B05

Abstract: To quantify the impact of climate change on the evapotranspiration process of alpine ecosystems on the Tibetan Plateau, we performed a series of simulations with the LPJ dynamic vegetation model and 80 meteorological stations from 1981 to 2010. Changes in actual evapotranspiration and the difference between precipitation and actual evapotranspiration (P-E) on the Tibetan Plateau were analyzed. Over the last 30 years, climate change was characterized by significantly increased temperature, slightly increased precipitation and decreased potential evapotranspiration which was significant before 2000. Actual evapotranspiration had increasing trends in most parts of the Tibetan Plateau, and P-E mainly had decreasing trends in southeastern plateau and increasing trends in northwestern plateau. Descending atmospheric water demand would lead to a decreasing trend in actual evapotranspiration; however, it increased in most regions due to more precipitation. Actual evapotranspiration increased (decreased) in most regions where there was 86% (73%) of increased (decreased) precipitation.

Key words: Tibetan Plateau, actual evapotranspiration, potential evapotranspiration, dynamic global vegetation model, climate change