Advertisement

Climate Dynamics

, Volume 53, Issue 3–4, pp 2047–2060 | Cite as

Robust elevation dependency warming over the Tibetan Plateau under global warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C

  • Qinglong YouEmail author
  • Yuqing Zhang
  • Xingyang Xie
  • Fangying Wu
Article
  • 186 Downloads

Abstract

The Tibetan Plateau (TP) is called the “third pole” and the “Asian water tower”, and climate change over the TP is evident in recent decades. However, the elevation dependency warming (EDW, larger temperature increases with higher elevation) over the TP under global warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C is not well understood. In this study, future changes in the monthly mean, maximum, and minimum temperature over the TP derived from 21 global climate models participating in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) are investigated using a midrange/high emission scenario (RCP4.5/8.5) in which the global surface temperature has risen by 1.5 °C and 2 °C relative to the pre-industrial period. The multi-model ensemble mean of 21 CMIP5 models indicates that the TP has rapidly warmed to a larger degree than the global mean and the whole China. Overall, the mean temperature over the TP under RCP4.5/8.5 scenarios under global warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C will increase by 2.11/2.10 °C and 2.89/2.77 °C, respectively, particularly in the western TP. The midrange emission scenario RCP4.5 shows larger temperature changes under global warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C than the high emission scenario RCP8.5. Furthermore, a robust EDW over the TP is found to intensify under global warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C, which is probably contributed by the snow/ice-albedo feedback in the elevation range between 3.5 and 4 km over the TP. The EDW over the TP raises more robust under global warming of 2 °C than 1.5 °C. This study suggests that the TP is being influenced by global warming approximately 10 years earlier than the global scale under global warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C, and the EDW under global warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C will have potentially serious consequences for the third pole environment.

Keywords

Tibetan Plateau Elevation dependency warming 1.5 °C and 2 °C 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study is supported by National Key R&D Program of China (2016YFA0601702), National Natural Science Foundation of China (41771069) and the Climate Change Special Funding Project (CCSF201944) of the China Meteorological Bureau. We are very grateful to Liuchen Shen for plotting figure 10 and the reviewers for their constructive comments and thoughtful suggestions.

References

  1. Barnett TP, Adam JC, Lettenmaier DP (2005) Potential impacts of a warming climate on water availability in snow-dominated regions. Nature 438(7066):303–309.  https://doi.org/10.1038/nature04141 Google Scholar
  2. Cai D, You Q, Fraedrich K, Guan Y (2017) Spatiotemporal temperature variability over the Tibetan Plateau: altitudinal dependence associated with the global warming hiatus. J Clim 30:969–984.  https://doi.org/10.1175/jcli-d-16-0343.1 Google Scholar
  3. Cai W, Wang G, Gan B, Wu L, Santoso A, Lin X, Chen Z, Jia F, Yamagata T (2018) Stabilised frequency of extreme positive Indian Ocean dipole under 1.5 & #xB0;C warming. Nat Commun 9(1):1419.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-03789-6 Google Scholar
  4. Chen B, Chao WC, Liu X (2003) Enhanced climatic warming in the Tibetan Plateau due to doubling CO2: a model study. Clim Dyn 20(4):401–413.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-002-0282-4 Google Scholar
  5. Cui XF, Cachier H, Graf HF, Langmann B, Chen W, Huang RH (2006) Climate impacts of anthropogenic land use changes on the Tibetan Plateau. Global Planet Change 54(1–2):33–56.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2005.07.006 Google Scholar
  6. Duan AM, Wu GX (2006) Change of cloud amount and the climate warming on the Tibetan Plateau. Geophys Res Lett 33(22):L22704.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2006gl027946 Google Scholar
  7. Duan AM, Xiao ZX (2015) Does the climate warming hiatus exist over the Tibetan Plateau? Sci Rep 5:13711Google Scholar
  8. Duan AM, Wu GX, Zhang Q, Liu YM (2006) New proofs of the recent climate warming over the Tibetan Plateau as a result of the increasing greenhouse gases emissions. Chin Sci Bull 51(11):1396–1400.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11434-006-1396-6 Google Scholar
  9. Duan AM, Wu G, Liu Y, Ma Y, Zhao P (2012) Weather and climate effects of the Tibetan Plateau. Adv Atmos Sci 29(5):978–992.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00376-012-1220-y Google Scholar
  10. Gao J, Yao T, Masson-Delmotte Valérie, Steen-Larsen Hans Christian, Wang W (2019) Collapsing glaciers threaten Asia’s water supplies. Nature 565:19–21Google Scholar
  11. Ge F, Zhu S, Peng T, Zhao Y, Sielmann F, Zhi X, Liu X, Tang W, Ji L (2019) Risks of precipitation extremes over Southeast Asia: does 1.5 or 2 degrees global warming make a difference? Environ Res Lett (in press).  https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aaff7e Google Scholar
  12. Guo D, Wang H (2012) The significant climate warming in the northern Tibetan Plateau and its possible causes. Int J Climatol 32(12):1775–1781Google Scholar
  13. Henley BJ, King AD (2017) Trajectories toward the 1.5 & #xB0;C Paris target: modulation by the interdecadal Pacific oscillation. Geophys Res Lett 44(9):4256–4262.  https://doi.org/10.1002/2017gl073480 Google Scholar
  14. Huang J, Yu H, Dai A, Wei Y, Kang L (2017) Drylands face potential threat under 2 °C global warming target. Nat Clim Change 7(6):417–422.  https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate3275 Google Scholar
  15. Hulme M (2016) 1.5 °C and climate research after the Paris agreement. Nat Clim Change 6(3):222–224.  https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2939 Google Scholar
  16. IPCC (2013) Summary for policymakers of climate change 2013: the physical science basis. In: Contribution of Working Group I to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  17. Kang SC, Xu YW, You QL, Flugel WA, Pepin N, Yao TD (2010) Review of climate and cryospheric change in the Tibetan Plateau. Environ Res Lett 5(1):015101.  https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/5/1/015101 Google Scholar
  18. King AD, Karoly DJ, Henley BJ (2017) Australian climate extremes at 1.5 °C and 2 °C of global warming. Nat Clim Change 7(6):412–416.  https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate3296 Google Scholar
  19. Kraaijenbrink PDA, Bierkens MFP, Lutz AF, Immerzeel WW (2017) Impact of a global temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius on Asia’s glaciers. Nature 549(7671):257–260Google Scholar
  20. Kuang X, Jiao J (2016) Review on climate change on the Tibetan Plateau during the last half century. J Geophys Res Atmos 121(8):3979–4007Google Scholar
  21. Li W, Jiang Z, Zhang X, Li L, Sun Y (2018) Additional risk in extreme precipitation in China from 1.5 & #xB0;C to 2.0 & #xB0;C global warming levels. Sci Bull 63(4):228–234.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scib.2017.12.021 Google Scholar
  22. Liu X, Chen B (2000) Climatic warming in the Tibetan Plateau during recent decades. Int J Climatol 20(14):1729–1742Google Scholar
  23. Liu X, Cheng Z, Yan L, Yin Z-Y (2009) Elevation dependency of recent and future minimum surface air temperature trends in the Tibetan Plateau and its surroundings. Global Planet Change 68(3):164–174Google Scholar
  24. Ma J, Guan X, Guo R, Gan Z, Xie Y (2017) Mechanism of non-appearance of hiatus in Tibetan Plateau. Sci Rep 7:4421.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-04615-7 Google Scholar
  25. Mitchell D, James R, Forster PM, Betts RA, Shiogama H, Allen M (2016) Realizing the impacts of a 1.5 & #xB0;C warmer world. Nat Clim Change 6(8):735–737.  https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate3055 Google Scholar
  26. Moss RH et al (2010) The next generation of scenarios for climate change research and assessment. Nature 463(7282):747–756.  https://doi.org/10.1038/nature08823 Google Scholar
  27. Pepin NC, Lundquist JD (2008) Temperature trends at high elevations: patterns across the globe. Geophys Res Lett 35(14):L14701.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2008gl034026 Google Scholar
  28. Pepin NC, Daly C, Lundquist J (2011) The influence of surface versus free-air decoupling on temperature trend patterns in the western United States. J Geophys Res Atmos 116:D10109.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2010jd014769 Google Scholar
  29. Pepin NC et al (2015) Elevation-dependent warming in mountain regions of the world. Nat Clim Change 5:424–430Google Scholar
  30. Rangwala I, Miller JR (2012) Climate change in mountains: a review of elevation-dependent warming and its possible causes. Clim Change 114(3–4):527–547.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-012-0419-3 Google Scholar
  31. Rangwala I, Miller JR, Xu M (2009) Warming in the Tibetan Plateau: possible influences of the changes in surface water vapor. Geophys Res Lett 36:L06703.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2009gl037245 Google Scholar
  32. Rangwala I, Miller J, Russell G, Xu M (2010) Using a global climate model to evaluate the influences of water vapor, snow cover and atmospheric aerosol on warming in the Tibetan Plateau during the twenty-first century. Clim Dyn 34(6):859–872Google Scholar
  33. Rangwala I, Sinsky E, Miller JR (2016) Variability in projected elevation dependent warming in boreal midlatitude winter in CMIP5 climate models and its potential drivers. Clim Dyn 46:2115–2122Google Scholar
  34. Schleussner C-F, Rogelj J, Schaeffer M, Lissner T, Licker R, Fischer EM, Knutti R, Levermann A, Frieler K, Hare W (2016a) Science and policy characteristics of the Paris agreement temperature goal. Nat Clim Change 6(9):827–835.  https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate3096 Google Scholar
  35. Schleussner CF et al (2016b) Differential climate impacts for policy-relevant limits to global warming: the case of 1.5 & #xB0;C and 2 & #xB0;C. Earth Syst Dyn 7(2):327–351.  https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-7-327-2016 Google Scholar
  36. Schleussner C-F, Pfleiderer P, Fischer EM (2017) In the observational record half a degree matters. Nat Clim Change 7(7):460–462Google Scholar
  37. Schurer AP, Mann ME, Hawkins E, Tett SFB, Hegerl GC (2017) Importance of the pre-industrial baseline for likelihood of exceeding Paris goals. Nat Clim Change 7(8):563–567.  https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate3345 Google Scholar
  38. Taylor KE, Stouffer RJ, Meehl GA (2012) An overview of CMIP5 and the experiment design. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 93(4):485–498.  https://doi.org/10.1175/bams-d-11-00094.1 Google Scholar
  39. Tian D, Dong W, Zhang H, Guo Y, Yang S, Dai T (2017) Future changes in coverage of 1.5 °C and 2 °C warming thresholds. Sci Bull 62(21):1455–1463Google Scholar
  40. UNFCCC (2015) Adoption of the Paris agreement. FCCC/CP/2015/10/Add.1, pp 1–32. UNFCCC, ParisGoogle Scholar
  41. Wu T, Zhao L, Li R, Wang Q, Xie C, Pang Q (2013) Recent ground surface warming and its effects on permafrost on the central Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Int J Climatol 33(4):920–930.  https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.3479 Google Scholar
  42. Wu F, You QL, Xie WX, Zhang L (2019) Temperature change on the Tibetan Plateau under the global warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C. Clim Change Res 15(2):130–139 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  43. Xu Y, Ramanathan V, Washington WM (2016) Observed high-altitude warming and snow cover retreat over Tibet and the Himalayas enhanced by black carbon aerosols. Atmos Chem Phys 16(3):1303–1315.  https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-1303-2016 Google Scholar
  44. Yan LB, Liu XD (2014) Has climatic warming over the Tibetan Plateau paused or continued in recent years? J Earth Ocean Atmos Sci 1(1):13–28Google Scholar
  45. Yan LB, Liu Z, Chen G, Kutzbach JE, Liu X (2016) Mechanisms of elevation-dependent warming over the Tibetan plateau in quadrupled CO2 experiments. Clim Change 135(3):509–519.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-016-1599-z Google Scholar
  46. Yang K, Ye BS, Zhou DG, Wu BY, Foken T, Qin J, Zhou ZY (2011) Response of hydrological cycle to recent climate changes in the Tibetan Plateau. Clim Change 109(3–4):517–534.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-011-0099-4 Google Scholar
  47. Yang K, Wu H, Qin J, Lin C, Tang W, Chen Y (2014) Recent climate changes over the Tibetan Plateau and their impacts on energy and water cycle: a review. Global Planet Change 112:79–91Google Scholar
  48. Yao T et al (2019) Recent third pole’s rapid warming accompanies cryospheric melt and water cycle intensification and interactions between monsoon and environment: multi-disciplinary approach with observation, modeling and analysis. Bull Am Meteorol Soc. 100(3):423–444.  https://doi.org/10.1175/bams-d-17-0057.1 Google Scholar
  49. Yao T et al (2012a) Different glacier status with atmospheric circulations in Tibetan Plateau and surroundings. Nat Climate Change 2(9):663–667.  https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1580 Google Scholar
  50. Yao T, Thompson LG, Mosbrugger V, Zhang F, Ma Y, Luo T, Xu B, Yang X, Joswiak DR, Wang W (2012b) Third pole environment (TPE). Environ Dev 3:52–64Google Scholar
  51. You QL, Kang SC, Pepin N, Yan YP (2008) Relationship between trends in temperature extremes and elevation in the eastern and central Tibetan Plateau, 1961–2005. Geophys Res Lett 35:L04704.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2007gl032669 Google Scholar
  52. You QL, Kang SC, Pepin N, Flugel WA, Yan YP, Behrawan H, Huang J (2010) Relationship between temperature trend magnitude, elevation and mean temperature in the Tibetan Plateau from homogenized surface stations and reanalysis data. Global Planet Change 71(1–2):124–133.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2010.01.020 Google Scholar
  53. You QL, Fraedrich K, Ren G, Pepin N, Kang S (2013) Variability of temperature in the Tibetan Plateau based on homogenized surface stations and reanalysis data. Int J Climatol 33(6):1337–1347Google Scholar
  54. You QL, Min J, Jiao Y, Sillanpää M, Kang S (2016a) Observed trend of diurnal temperature range in the Tibetan Plateau in recent decades. Int J Climatol 36(6):2633–2643.  https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.4517 Google Scholar
  55. You QL, Min J, Kang S (2016b) Rapid warming in the Tibetan Plateau from observations and CMIP5 models in recent decades. Int J Climatol 36(6):2660–2670.  https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.4520 Google Scholar
  56. Zhang Y, You Q, Chen C, Ge J, Adnan M (2017) Evaluation of downscaled CMIP5 coupled with VIC model for flash drought simulation in a humid subtropical basin, China. J Clim 31(3):1075–1090.  https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0378.1 Google Scholar
  57. Zhang Y, You Q, Mao G, Chen C, Ye Z (2019) Short-term concurrent drought and heatwave frequency with 1.5 and 2.0 °C global warming in humid subtropical basins: a case study in the Gan River Basin, China. Clim Dyn. 52:4621–4641.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-018-4398-6 Google Scholar
  58. Zhao L, Ping CL, Yang DQ, Cheng GD, Ding YJ, Liu SY (2004) Changes of climate and seasonally frozen ground over the past 30 years in Qinghai-Xizang (Tibetan) Plateau, China. Global Planet Change 43(1–2):19–31Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric SciencesFudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster, Ministry of Education (KLME)Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (NUIST)NanjingChina

Personalised recommendations