AbstractUsing observed and reanalysis data, the pronounced inter-decadal variations of Lake Qinghai (LQH) water level and associated climate factors were diagnosed. From the 1960s to the early 2000s, the water level of LQH has experienced continual decline of 3 meters, but has since increased considerably. A water budget analysis of LQH watershed suggested that the water vapor flux divergence (∇ · Q) is the dominant atmospheric process modulating precipitation and subsequently the lake volume change (ΔV). The marked inter-decadal variability in ΔV and ∇ · Q was found to be related to the North Pacific (NP) and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) modes during the cold season (November-March). Through empirical orthogonal function (EOF) and regression analyses, the water vapor sink over the LQH watershed responds significantly to the summer Eurasian wave train modulated by the low-frequency variability associated with the cold season NP and PDO modes. Removal of these variability modes (NP, PDO, and Eurasian wave train) led to a residual uptrend in the hydrological variables of ΔV, ∇ · Q, and precipitation, corresponding to the net water level increase. Attribution analysis using the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) single-forcing experiments shows that the greenhouse gas forcing-driven simulations produced a significant increase in the LQH precipitation, while anthropogenic aerosols generated a minor wetting trend as well.
Journal of Hydrometeorology – American Meteorological Society
Published: Sep 22, 2017
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