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Spatial and temporal variability of water vapor pressure in the arid region of northwest China, during 1961–2011

Abstract

This paper investigated the spatial and temporal variations of the water vapor pressure (WVP) of the arid region of northwest China (ARNC) from 1961 to 2011. The original daily temperature and relative humidity data were collected from 96 meteorological stations in the region and analyzed by a Mann–Kendall test and linear trend. The results showed that (1) the WVP possesses vertical zonality and longitude zonality, which decreased from the low to high with the elevation increasing, and the WVP changed obviously from the northwest and southeast to the middle of the ARNC. (2) WVP exhibited an abrupt increasing trend in most of the stations over the past 51 years; only four meteorological stations displayed upward trend in the ARNC. The WVP in the desert increased most rapidly, followed by the oasis and mountainous area. (3) The northwest of Xinjiang and northwest of the Hexi Corridor were sensitive to the water vapor change. Thus, further studies should be performed on the relations between the land use and cover and the water vapor change.

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Acknowledgments

The research is supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program: 2010CB951003 and 2010CB951001). The authors thank the National Climate Central, China Meteorological Administration, for providing the meteorological data for this study.

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Correspondence to Yaning Chen.

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Yao, J., Chen, Y. & Yang, Q. Spatial and temporal variability of water vapor pressure in the arid region of northwest China, during 1961–2011. Theor Appl Climatol 123, 683–691 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-015-1373-6

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Keywords

  • East Asian Monsoon
  • Water Vapor Pressure
  • Tianshan Mountain
  • Desert Area
  • Qilian Mountain