Please wait a minute...
Journal of Arid Land  2012, Vol. 4 Issue (3): 260-270    DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2012.00260
Research Articles     
Trends and abrupt changes in surface vapor content over Tarim Basin during the last 50 years
HongJun LI1, WeiYi MAO2, Yong ZHAO1, MinZhong WANG1, Wen HUO1
1 Institute of Desert Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Urumqi 830002, China;
2 Xinjiang Climate Center, China Meteorological Administration, Urumqi 830002, China
Download:   PDF(793KB)
Export: BibTeX | EndNote (RIS)      

Abstract  The surface vapor content has a close correlation with the generation of precipitation. Based on the atmospheric circulation data and surface vapor content data from 37 weather stations across the Tarim Basin during 1961−2010, the paper analyzed the vapor variation trend, period, abrupt changes and their causes. The results show that the increase trend of surface vapor content over the Tarim Basin mostly conforms with the average trend coefficient of 0.48. There were 3 centers displaying a trend of high vapor increase and 3 centers displaying a low vapor increase. These centers were distributed in strips and blocks across the basin from northeast to southwest. Notable inter-decadal variations in annual and seasonal vapor contents occurred in the Tarim Basin during the 50 years of the study period, with more vapor after the mid-1980s and less vapor in the 1960s and the 1970s. The significant increase in vapor content in the 50 year period occurred mostly in the 1980s and the 1990s. The increasing trend across the four seasons was strongest in summer, reaching 0.43, and weakest in spring. Great variations existed between the spring trend and the annual, summer, autumn and winter trends. During the 50-year study period, there are distinguishable periods of 4–6 years and 8–10 years in which the annual and sea-sonal vapor contents varied alternately between low and high concentrations. The annual vapor content and that of the four individual seasons all changed abruptly in about the mid-1980s (α<0.05). The west wind circulation, Tibetan Plateau circulation and the annual mean temperatures of the Tarim Basin are the main factors that influenced the surface vapor content over the study area, of which the Tibetan Plateau circulation may be the most important one.

Received: 02 November 2011      Published: 03 September 2012

National Natural Science Foundation of China (40975097), National Basic Research Program of China (2010CB951001) and the Special Fund for Public Welfare Industry (Meteorology) (GYHY 201006012).

Corresponding Authors:
Cite this article:

HongJun LI, WeiYi MAO, Yong ZHAO, MinZhong WANG, Wen HUO. Trends and abrupt changes in surface vapor content over Tarim Basin during the last 50 years. Journal of Arid Land, 2012, 4(3): 260-270.

URL:     OR

Ai W X, Lin X C. 1995. The climatic abrupt change in the Northern Hemisphere for 1920s and 1950s. Acta Meteorologica Sinica, 9(2): 190−198.

Chen Y N, Xu Z X. 2004. Assessing possible effects of global climate change on water resources in Tarim Basin. Science in China: Earth Sciences, 34(11): 1047−1053.

China Meteorological Administration. 2003. The Specifications for Surface Meteorological Observation. Beijing: Meteorological Press, 36−40.

Climate Diagnostics and Prediction Division of the National Climate Center. 2008. The circulation index and vectors on 500 hpa in August, 2008. Meteorological Monthly, 34(10): 128−128.

Cui Y Q. 1994. The transport of vapor and its sources in Northwest China. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, (9): 79−87, 93.

Dai X G, Li W L, Ma Z G. 2007. Water−vapor source shift of Xinjiang region during the recent twenty years. Progress in Natural Science, 17(5): 569−575.

Deng Z W, Lin Z S, Zhao X L. 1997. Multiple time scales analysis of Xi’an climate change for last 50 years. Plateau Meteorology, 16(1): 81−93.

Ding Y H, Zhang J, Xu Y, et al. 2003. The Evolution and Forecast of Climate System. Beijing: China Meteorological Press, 51−64.

Fan Y T, Chen Y N, Li W H, et al. 2011. Impacts of temperature and precipitation on runoff in the Tarim River during the past 50 years. Journal of Arid Land, 3(3): 220−230.

Fu C B, Wang Q. 1992. The definition and detection of the abrupt climatic change. Chinese Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, 16(1): 111−119.

Hu R J, Jiang F Q, Wang Y J, et al. 2002. A study on signals and effects of climatic pattern change from warm-dry to warm-wet in Xinjiang. Arid Land Geography, 25(3): 194−200.

Huang R H, Chen J L, Liu Y. 2011. Interdecadal variation of the leading modes of summertime precipitation anomalies over Eastern China and its association with water vapor transport over East Asia. Chinese Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, 35(4): 589−606.

Huang R H, Zhang Z Z, Huang G. 1998. Characteristics of the water vapor transport in East Asian monsoon region and its difference from that in South Asian monsoon region in summer. Chinese Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, 22(4): 460−469.

Jian M Q, Qin X H, Qiao Y T. 2006. Spatial and temporal variations of large-scale atmospheric water resources over southern China. Acta Scientiarum Naturalium Universitatis Sunyatseni, 45(6): 97−101.

Jiang F Q, Yang Y H. 2004. Potential links of flood and drought disasters in Xinjiang to some larger scale climatic driving forces. Arid Land Geography, 27(2): 148−153.

Kalnay E, Kanamitsu M, Kistler R, et al. 1996. The NECEP/NCAR 40 year reanalysis project. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 77: 437−471.

Karalis J D. 1974. Precipitable water and its relationship to surface dew point and vapor pressure in Athens. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 13(1): 760−766.

Li D L, Xie J N. 1997. A study of summer precipitation features and anomaly in Northwest China. Chinese Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, 21(3): 331−340.

Li H J, Li J, He Q. 2008. Study on sandstorm trend and abrupt change in Xinjiang. Journal of Desert Research, 28(5): 915−919.

Li W L, Wang K L, Fu S M, et al. 2008. The interrelationship between regional westerly index and the water vapor budget in Northwest China. Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology, 30(1): 28−34.

Lin X C. 1998. Climate Change and its Influence at the End of the 1970s and Beginning of the 1980s. Beijing: Metrological Press, 15−16.

Lin Z Y, Zhen D. 1992. The tracks of moisture transportation and its vapor geo-ecological characteristics on Qinghai-Xizang Plateau. Arid Zone Research, 9(2): 1−7.

Liu W, Xu Y P, Huang Y. 2005. Effects of global warming on precipitation and runoff volume in Xinjiang. Arid Land Geography, 28(5): 597−602.

Lv S N, Li D L, Wen J, et al. 2010. Analysis on periodic variations and abrupt change of air temperature over Qinghai-Xizang plateau under global warming. Plateau Meteorology, 29(6): 1378−1385.

Niu C W, Zhang L P, Xia J. 2004. Wavelet analysis on the precipitation in North China. Arid Land Geography, 27(1): 66−70.

Partal Turgay, Ercan Kahya. 2006. Trend analysis in Turkish precipitation data. Hydrological Processes, 20: 2011−2026.

Qian Z A, Wu T W, Liang X Y. 2001. Feature of mean vertical circulation over the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau and its neighborhood. Chinese Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, 25(4): 444−454.

Shi N, Chen L W. 2002. The secular variation of global land annual rainfall fields from 1948−2000. Chinese Science Bulletin, 47(21): 1671−1674.

Shi Y F, Shen Y P, Hu R J. 2002. Preliminary study on signa1 impact and foreground of climatic shift from warm-dry to warm-humid in Northwest China. Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology, 24(3): 219−226.

Wang K L, Jiang H, Zhao H Y. 2006. Advection and convergence of water vapor transport over Northwest China. Advances in Water Science, 17(2): 164−169.

Wang X L, Wen Q H, Wu Y. 2007. Penalized maximal t-test for detecting undocumented mean change in climate data series. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 46(6): 916−931.

Wang X R, Xu X D, Miao Q J. 2003. Regional characteristics of summer precipitation and water vapor amount in Northwest China. Climatic and Environmental Research, 8(1): 35−42.

Wang Y R, Lin S, Li Y H, et al. 2006. Response of atmospheric vapor over Gansu province to global climate change. Arid Land Geography, 29(1): 47−52.

Wei F Y. 1999. Statistical Diagnosis and Forecast Methods in Modern Meteorology. Beijing: Meteorological Press, 53−59, 106−113.

Wei Z G, Dong W J, Hui X Y. 2000. Evolution of trend and interannual oscillatory variabilities of precipitation over Northwest China. Acta Meteorologica Sinica, 58(2): 234−243.

Xu G H, Lu G Y. 2004. Research of climate change and ecological environment in Xinjiang. Bimonthly of Xinjiang Meteorology, 27(2): 1−4.

Xu S Y. 1958. Water vapor transportation and water balance in China. Acta Meteorologica Sinica, 29(1): 33−43.

Yang J M, Qiu J H. 2002. A method for estimating precipitable water and effective water vapor content from ground humidity parameters. Chinese Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, 26(1): 9−22.

Yu Y X, Wang J S, Li Q Y. 2003. Spatial and temporal distribution of water vapor and its variation trend in atmosphere over Northwest China. Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology, 25(2): 149−156. 

Zhang X W. 2004. A relationship between precipitable water and surface vapor pressure. Meteorological Monthly, 30(2): 9−11.

Zhou T J, Yu R C. 2005. Atmospheric water vapor transport associated with typical anomalous summer rainfall patterns in China. Journal of Geophysical Research, 110: D08104.1−D08104.10.

No related articles found!