Qinghai-Tibet plateau wetter, warmer in early summer: study

Updated 2017-09-04 14:00:57 Xinhua

The Qinghai-Tibet plateau has grown wetter and warmer in early spring over the past forty years, according to a study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

A significant increase in the amount of precipitation over the southeastern part of the plateau occurred from 1979 to 2014, said Zhang Wenxia, a researcher with the Institute of Atmospheric Physics.

The trend was due to the earlier onset of the South Asian summer monsoon since the late 1970s, Zhang said.

The plateau plays an essential role in the global water system.

"Increased rainfall has provided water to plants in the lower reaches. Soil moisture level has also increased remarkably in the season, so plants turned greener," she said.

Zhang said that increased precipitation at the southeastern part of the plateau had also alleviated water shortage problems in several areas downstream.

"For example, in Lhasa, rain has been particularly ample this year. Sometimes it rained all day. During summer, the mountains turned green," she said.

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