2012 Volume 90C Pages 1-16
Because of the importance of the impact of the Tibetan Plateau on atmospheric general circulations and climate across China, Asia, and even the world, Chinese and Japanese scientists jointly constructed an integrated atmospheric observing system, especially for the water vapor observation, across the Tibetan Plateau and its adjacent areas during the period of 2005-2009 under the JICA (Japan International Co-operation Agency) project (JICA/Tibet Project). The JICA/Tibet Project aims at understanding processes of the land-atmosphere interaction over the Tibetan Plateau and their impacts on the severe weather and climate over the Tibetan Plateau and the area to its east in the East Asian region. The project is designed in an attempt to alleviate impacts of meteorological disasters in these areas through improving the prediction skill.
The implementation of the project has enhanced the capability of monitoring the Plateau atmosphere. The numerical forecast techniques are developed through assimilating observed data into the numerical model. Based on the investigation of observed surface energy balance, the land surface model is improved. It is found that the diurnal variation of precipitation over the Plateau is closely related with water vapor, and the latent heat release is a main factor affecting the Plateau vortex. By analyzing observed seasonal features of the tropopause, the evidence of strong stratosphere and troposphere exchange over the Tibetan Plateau is provided. It reveals that the interannual variability of summer rainfall in East China corresponds to that of vegetation index over the Plateau. The crossing hemispheric circulations driven by the thermal and mechanical forcings of the Plateau play an important role in water vapor transports not only over East Asia, but also in the global scale.