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Tseng, KH Tseng, KH; Shum, CK; Lee, H; Duan, JB; Kuo, CY; Song, SL; Zhu, WY (2011). Satellite Observed Environmental Changes over the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. TERRESTRIAL ATMOSPHERIC AND OCEANIC SCIENCES, 22(2), 229-239.

We use satellite observed and model atmospheric variables, including land surface temperature, snowfall, snow extent, precipitation, and water vapor contents to study the feasibility of quantifying anthropogenic climate change over high elevation areas such as the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Five types of satellite data and outputs from Atmospheric General Circulation Model (AGCMs) are used to study these climate change indicators: (1) AIRS/AMSU/HSB atmospheric sounding system onboard the Aqua platform, 2003 similar to 2009, (2) Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) onboard Terra, 2001 similar to 2009, (3) The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) precipitation measurements, 1999 similar to 2009, (4) the ERA-interim (ECMWF Interim Reanalysis), 1989 similar to 2009, and (5) the Japanese 25-year Reanalysis Project (JRA-25) AGCM data, 1979 similar to 2009. We find that biases exist between temperature observations and model data 0.29 similar to 3.12 degrees C, AIRS and JRA-25, respectively. The trends for each of the atmospheric variables at best have a qualitative agreement, presumably because the data spans of satellite observations are too short (7 similar to 10 years). The temperature trends for 4000 similar to 5000 m over the Plateau are estimated to be 0.01 similar to 0.05 degrees C yr(-1), qualitatively agreeing with the published rate of 0.3 degrees C decade(-1) over the last three decades using in situ data.



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