Impact of Water Vapor on Elevation-dependent Climate Change

  • 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, 3-1-3 Kannondai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8604, Japan;
    3. College of Global Change and Earth System Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China

Received date: 2016-10-11

  Online published: 2017-01-20

Supported by

National Natural Science Foundation of China (41571042, 41271067); National Key Research and Development Program (2016YFC0502001).


Elevation dependency amongst climate change signals has been found in major mountain ranges around the world, but the main factors causing this dependency have not been clarified. In this study, four different datasets of observation and reanalysis for China were used to examine the elevation dependency of climate change. A lack of consistency was found in dependency between warming magnitude and elevation across the Tibetan Plateau and China. However, a dependency of climate change on water vapor was detected whereby the temperature trend initially increased at low specific humidity, and then decreased as specific humidity increased. At ground level the maximum trend in temperature appeared in the specific humidity range 2.0-3.0 g kg-1. This suggests that water vapor is a mediator of climate change and may be responsible for elevation-dependent climate change.

Cite this article

ZHANG Xianzhou, WANG Ling, HE Yongtao, DU Mingyuan, ZHANG Jing, SHI Peili, YU Chengqun, ZHANG Yangjian . Impact of Water Vapor on Elevation-dependent Climate Change[J]. Journal of Resources and Ecology, 2017 , 8(1) : 5 -9 . DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.01.002


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