Temperature Variations in Tibet
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Temperature Variations in Tibet

Update: Jan. 4th, 2013

Tibet in Autumn

Temperature Variations in Tibet – Features of Tibet Climate

The climate on Tibet Plateau is mainly characterized by airless, low air pressure, strong solar radiation and long sunshine duration. The strong solar radiation in Tibet is due to the low energy loss when the sunshine traverses through the atmosphere. The high altitude, thin air and dust, low moisture content and high transparency are the main causes of the strong solar radiation. Actually, Tibet is quite noted as the region is rich in solar radiation energy in China. The sunshine duration on Tibet Plateau is much longer than that of the other regions at the same latitude. The annual sunshine duration in Lhasa is about 3021 hours while the annual sunshine duration in Chengdu and Shanghai is 1186 hours and 1932 hours respectively.

Low temperature and obvious temperature difference between day and night are two other features of Tibet climate. The temperature on Tibet Plateau is much lower than the Yangtze River Basin at the same latitude. The big temperature difference in 24 hours is due to the high elevation. On Tibet Plateau, the year is mainly composed of the dry season and the rainy season under the alternately control of the west wind in winter and the southwest monsoon in summer. Generally, the period between October and April of the next year is regarded as the dry season while the period between May and September is regarded as the rainy season on Tibet Plateau.

Tibet is of complicated climate types and the climate is of obvious vertical changes. The topography in Tibet is characterized by higher in the northwest part and lower in the southwest part. The altitude drops to less than 1000 meters from higher than 5000 meters. The regions from the east to the west enjoy different climate types, including tropical climate, sub-tropical climate, plateau temperate climate, plateau sub-frigid climate and plateau frigid climate. The vertical changes of the climate are pretty obvious in the high mountain and deep canyon areas in southeastern Tibet and the southern slope of Himalayas.

Temperature Variations in Tibet - Average Annual Temperature of Different Places


Place Latitude Elevation(meters) Annual Average Temperature(?) Average Temperature in January(?) Average Temperature in July
Ando  32°21′    4800      -3.0 -15.0 7.9
Nagqu 31°29′   4507     -1.9 13.9 8.9
Aamdo 31°11′   3240.7     7.6 -2.5 16.3
Damgxung 30°29′   4200     1.3 -9.9 10.8
Bome 29°52′   2750     8.5 -0.2 16.5
Lhasa 29°42′   3658     7.5 -2.2 15.1
Nyingchi 39°33′   3000     8.6 -0.2 15.6
Tsedang 29°15′   3500     8.3 -0.7 15.5
Shigatse 29°13′   3836    6.3 -3.8 14.2
Gyantse 28°55′   4040    4.7 -5.1 12.8
Tingri 28°38′   4300   0.7 -11.3 10.9
Zay 28°39′   2327.6   11.8 -4.0 18.6
Pagri 27°44′   4300   -0.1 -8.8 7.8
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