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The Difference in Precipitation Variability between the North and South Tibetan Plateaus

DUAN Ke-qin1,YAO Tan-dong2,WANG Ning-lian1,TIAN Li-de2,XU Bai-qing2(1.State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science,CAREERI,CAS,Lanzhou Gansu 730000,China;2.Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100029,China)  
A detailed analysis of the spatial and temporal changes in annual precipitation over the period of 1961-2004 in the Tibetan Plateau(TP) is presented based on a developed daily precipitation dataset of 45 weather stations with altitudes over 2000 m above sea level.Data from the 45 stations in the central and eastern TP are selected for rotated empirical orthogonal functions(REOF) analysis with a relatively uniform distribution of the station network.In detail the first REOF mode describes the coherent precipitation variation over the southern TP.The second REOF mode emphasizes the coherent precipitation variation over the central TP.The third REOF mode emphasizes precipitation variation over the northern TP.The fourth mode describes the precipitation variation over the northeast TP.But generally,precipitation varies much differently between the north and south of Tanggula Range,which is the boundary of the southern and northern TP.Meanwhile,five time series of precipitation reconstructed from ice cores and lake sediment in the TP have been discussed.These reconstructed period ranges from 1400 to 2000,making it is possible to determine the precipitation variability in the TP at secular time scale.The results indicate that precipitation also varies differently in the southern and northern TP in a secular time scale.In the past 600 years,both precipitations in the southern and northern TP changed abruptly at around 1740 and 1850.In the period from 1400 to 1740,precipitation increased(decreased) in the northern TP(the southern TP).While during the period from 1740 to 1850,precipitation decreased in northern TP and increased in the southern TP.Then since 1850 precipitation has increased in the northern TP and decreased in the southern TP.It is revealed that precipitation variation is much different between the northern and southern TP,both in decade and secular time scales,which is due to the monsoon prevailing in the southern TP and the westerly prevailing in the northern TP.
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