Climate and Environmental Change

Climate change in Mt. Qomolangma region since 1971

  • 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: 2006-03-19

  Revised date: 2006-06-05

  Online published: 2006-09-25

Supported by

The Climate Change Programme of The China Meteorological Administration, No.CCSF2005-2-QH38; National Basic Research Program of China, No.2005CB422006; Knowledge Innovation Project of CAS, No.KZCX3-SW-3392


Using monthly average, maximum, minimum air temperature and monthly precipitation data from 5 weather stations in Mt. Qomolangma region in China from 1971 to 2004, climatic linear trend, moving average, 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 obvious ascending tendency for the interannual change of air temperature in Mt. Qomolangma region and the ascending tendency of Tingri, the highest station, is the most significant. The rate of increasing air temperature is 0.234 oC/decade in Mt. Qomolangma region, 0.302 oC/decade in Tingri. The air temperature increases more strongly in non-growing season. (2) Compared with China and the global average, 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 average in the same period. This is attributed to the sensitivity of mountainous 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 decreasing 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 set up at the base camp of Mt. Qomolangma with a height of 5032 m a.s.l 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 since 1971[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2006 , 16(3) : 326 -336 . DOI: 10.1007/s11442-006-0308-7