Geology Faculty Publications

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Scientific Reports


Many studies have reported enhanced warming trend on the Tibetan Plateau (TP), even during the warming hiatus period. However, most of these studies are based on instrumental data largely collected from the eastern TP, whereas the temperature trend over the extensive northwestern TP remains uncertain due to few meteorological stations. Here we combined the stable isotopic δ18O record of an ice core recovered in 2012 from the Chongce glacier with the δ18O records of two other ice cores (i.e., Muztagata and Zangser Kangri) in the same region to establish a regional temperature series for the northwestern TP. The reconstruction shows a significant warming trend with a rate of 0.74 ± 0.12 °C/decade for the period 1970–2000, but a decreasing trend from 2001 to 2012. This is consistent with the reduction of warming rates during the recent decade observed at the only two meteorological stations on the northwestern TP, even though most stations on the eastern TP have shown persistent warming during the same period. Our results suggest a possible recent warming hiatus on the northwestern TP. This could have contributed to the relatively stable status of glaciers in this region.



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