Climate Change in Mt. Qomolangma Region in China during the Last 34 Years

  • 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China;
    3. Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, CAS, Beijing 100085, China;
    4. Laboratory for Climate Studies, National Climate Center, CMA, Beijing 100081, China;
    5. Tibet Institute of Plateau Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, Lhasa 850000, China

Received date: 2006-02-16

  Revised date: 2006-03-23

  Online published: 2006-07-25

Supported by

The National Basic Research Program of China, No.2005CB422006; Climate Change Programme of The China Meteorological Administration (CMA), No.CCSF2005-2-QH38; Knowledge Innovation Project of CAS, No.KZCX3-SW-339


Using annual mean, maximum, minimum air temperature and monthly mean precipitation data from 5 weather stations in Mt. Qomolangma region from 1971 to 2004, climatic linear trend, moving mean, low-pass filter and accumulated variance analysis methods, the spatial and temporal patterns of the climatic change in this region were analyzed. The main findings can be summarized as follows: (1) There is an obvious ascending trend for the interannual variation of air temperature in Mt. Qomolangma region and the ascending trend of the highest station, Tingri, is most significant. The rate of increasing air temperature is 0.0234 oCa-1 in Mt. Qomolangma region and 0.0302 oCa-1 in Tingri. The air temperature increases more strongly in non-growing season. (2) Compared with China and the global mean, the warming of Mt. Qomolangma region occurred early. The linear rates of temperature increase in Mt. Qomolangma region exceed those for China and the global mean in the same period. This is attributed to the sensitivity of mountain regions to climate change. (3) The southern and northern parts of Mt. Qomolangma region are quite different in precipitation changes. Stations in the northern part show increasing trends but are not statistically significant. Nyalam in the southern part shows a decreasing trend and the sudden decrease of precipitation occurred in the early 1990s. (4) Compared with the previous studies, we find that the warming of Mt. Qomolangma high-elevation region is most significant in China in the same period. The highest automatic meteorological comprehensive observation station in the world that was set up at the base camp of Mt. Qomolangma with an elevation of 5032 m above sea level will play an important role in monitoring the global climate change.

Cite this article

YANG Xuchao, ZHANG Yili, ZHANG Wei, YAN Yuping, WANG Zhaofeng, DING Mingjun, CHU Duo . Climate Change in Mt. Qomolangma Region in China during the Last 34 Years[J]. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2006 , 61(7) : 687 -696 . DOI: 10.11821/xb200607002


[1] IPCC. Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001: 140-165.

[2] Feng Song, Tang Maocang, Wang Dongmei. New evidence of the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau as a pilot region of climatic fluctuation in China. Chinese Science Bulletin, 1998, 43(6): 633-636.
[冯松, 汤懋苍, 王冬梅. 青藏高原是我国气候变化启动区的新证据. 科学通报, 1998, 43(6): 633-636.]

[3] Pan Baotian, Li Jijun. Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau: a driver and amplifier of the global climatic change. Journal of Lanzhou University (Natural Sciences), 1996, 32(1): 108-115.
[潘保田, 李吉均. 青藏高原: 全球气候变化的驱动机与放大器. 兰州大学学报 (自然科学版), 1996, 32(1): 108-115.]

[4] Liu Xiaodong, Hou Ping. Relationship between the climatic warming over the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau and its surrounding areas in recent 30 years and the elevation. Plateau Meteorology, 1998, 17(3): 245-249.
[刘晓东, 侯萍. 青藏高原及其邻近地区近30年气候变暖与海拔高度的关系. 高原气象, 1998, 17(3): 245-249.]

[5] Yao Tandong, Liu Xiaodong, Wang Ninglian. Amplitude of climatic change in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Chinese Science Bulletin, 2000, 45(1): 98-106.
[姚檀栋, 刘晓东, 王宁练. 青藏高原地区的气候变化幅度问题. 科学通报, 2000, 45(1): 98-106.]

[6] Zhang Yili, Zheng Du et al. Regional ecosystem and environment change on the Plateau. In: Zheng Du, Yao Tandong et al. Uplifting of Tibetan Plateau with Its Environmental Effects. Beijing: Science Press, 2004. 459-554.
[张镱锂, 郑度 等. 青藏高原区域生态环境变化及其管理对策探讨. 见: 郑度, 姚檀栋 等, 青藏高原隆升与环境效应. 北京: 科学出版社, 2004. 459-554.]

[7] Lin Zhenyao, Zhao Xinyi. Spatial characters of temperature and precipitation in the Tibetan Plateau. Science in China (Series D), 1996, 26(4): 354-358.
[林振耀, 赵昕奕. 青藏高原气温降水变化的空间特征. 中国科学(D辑), 1996, 26(4): 354-358.]

[8] Du Jun, Ma Yucai. Climatic trend of rainfall over Tibetan Plateau from 1971 to 2000. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2004, 59(3): 375-382.
[杜军, 马玉才. 西藏高原降水变化趋势的气候分析. 地理学报, 2004, 59(3): 375-382.]

[9] Wu Shaohong, Yin Yunhe, Zheng Du et al. Climate changes in the Tibetan Plateau during the last three decades. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2005, 60(1): 3-11.
[吴绍洪, 尹云鹤, 郑度 等. 青藏高原近30年气候变化趋势. 地理学报, 2005, 60(1): 3-11.]

[10] Team of Scientific Expedition to Tibet, CAS. Dissertation of Scientific Expediton to Mt. Qomolangma Region: Physical Geography. Beijing: Science Press, 1975. 1-15.
[中国科学院西藏科学考察队. 珠穆朗玛峰地区科学考察报告: 自然地理. 北京: 科学出版社, 1975. 1-15.]

[11] Wei Fengying. Modern Climatic Statistical Diagnosis and Forecasting Technology. Beijing: China Meteorological Press, 1999. 43-47.
[魏凤英. 现代气候统计诊断预测技术. 北京: 气象出版社, 1999. 43-47.]

[12] Liu Xiaodong, Chen Baode. Climatic warming in the Tibetan Plateau during recent decades. International Journal of Climatology, 2000, 20(14): 1729-1742.

[13] Cai Ying, Li Dongliang, Tang Maocang et al. Decadal temperature changes over Qinghai-Xizang Plateau in recent 50 years. Plateau Meteorology, 2003, 22(5): 464-470.
[蔡英, 李栋梁, 汤懋苍 等. 青藏高原近50年来气温的年代际变化. 高原气象, 2003, 22(5): 464-470.]

[14] Wei Zhigang, Huang Ronghui, Dong Wenjie. Interannual and interdecadal variations of air temperature and precipitation over the Tibetan Plateau. Chinese Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, 2003, 27(2): 157-170.
[韦志刚, 黄荣辉, 董文杰. 青藏高原气温和降水的年际和年代际变化. 大气科学, 2003, 27(2): 157-170.]

[15] Wang Yan, Li Xiong, Miao Qilong. Analyses on variety characteristics of temperature in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in recent 50 years. Arid Land Geography, 2004, 27(1): 41-46.
[王堰, 李雄, 缪启龙. 青藏高原近50年来气温变化特征的研究. 干旱区地理, 2004, 27(1): 41-46.]

[16] Du Jun. Change of temperature in Tibetan Plateau from 1961 to 2000. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2001, 56(6): 682-690.
[杜军. 西藏高原近40年的气温变化. 地理学报, 2001, 56(6): 682-690.]

[17] Li Lin, Zhu Xide, Qin Ningsheng. Study on temperature variations and its anomaly pattern over Qinghai-Xizang Plateau. Plateau Meteorology, 2003, 22(5): 524-530.
[李林, 朱西德, 秦宁生. 青藏高原气温变化及其异常类型的研究. 高原气象, 2003, 22(5): 524-530.]

[18] Arun B Shrestha, Cameron P Wake, Paul A Mayewski et al. Maximum temperature trends in the Himalaya and its vicinity: an analysis based on the temperature records from Nepal for the period 1971-94. Journal of Climate, 1999, 12: 2775-2786.

[19] Beniston M, Diaz H F, Bradley R S. Climatic change at high elevation sites: an overview. Climatic Change, 1997, 36: 233-251.

[20] Diaz H F, Bradley R S. Temperature variations during the last century at high elevation sites. Climatic Change, 1997, 36: 253-279.

[21] Aizen V B, Aizen M, Melack J M et al. Climatic and hydrologic changes in the Tien Shan, central Asia. Journal of Climate, 1997, 10: 1393-1404.

[22] Giorgi F, Hurrell J, Marinucci M R et al. Elevation dependency of the surface climate change signal: a model study. Journal of Climate, 1997, 10: 288-296.

[23] Ren Jiawen, Qin Dahe, Jing Zhefan. Climatic warming causes the glacier retreat in Mt. Qomolangma. Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology, 1998, 20(2): 57-58.
[任贾文, 秦大河, 井哲帆. 气候变暖使珠穆朗玛峰地区冰川处于退缩状态. 冰川冻土, 1998, 20(2): 57-58.]

[24] Kang Shichang (ed.). Striding into Mt. Qomolangma. Lanzhou: Gansu Scientific & Technical Press, 2005. 4-6.
[康世昌 主编. 走进珠穆朗玛. 兰州: 甘肃科学技术出版社, 2005. 4-6.]

[25] Zhao Yahui. Scientific expedition into Mt. Qomolangma found that the glacier retreat in the north slope of Mt. Qomolangma is serious. 2005-05-11.
[赵亚辉. 珠峰科考发现: 珠峰北坡冰川退缩严重. 2005-05-11.]

[26] Arun B Shrestha, Cameron P Wake. Precipitation fluctuations in the Nepal Himalaya and its vicinity and relationship with some large scale climatological parameters. International Journal of Climatology, 2000, 20: 317-327.

[27] Tao Bo. Preliminary study on spatio-temporal patterns of terrestrial carbon budgets driven by climatic change in China. Postdoctoral Research Report of Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, 2005. 20-25.
[陶波. 气候变化驱动的中国陆地生态系统碳收支格局初步研究. 中国科学院地理科学与资源研究所博士后研究工作报告, 2005. 20-25.]