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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3504254, 13 pages
Research Article

Characteristics of Water Vapor in the UTLS over the Tibetan Plateau Based on AURA/MLS Observations

1College of Atmospheric Science, Chengdu University of Information Technology and Plateau Atmospheric and Environment Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu 610225, China
2State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather (LASW) and Institute of Atmospheric Composition, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
3Anqing Meteorological Bureau, Anqing 246003, China
4Sichuan Academy of Environmental Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Quanliang Chen; nc.ude.tiuc@lqnehc

Received 26 April 2017; Accepted 28 June 2017; Published 31 July 2017

Academic Editor: Dong Guo

Copyright © 2017 Yi Sun et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Water vapor (WV) has a vital effect on global climate change. Using satellite data observed by AURA/MLS and ERA-Interim reanalysis datasets, the spatial distributions and temporal variations of WV were analyzed. It was found that high WV content in the UTLS over the southern Tibetan Plateau is more apparent in summer, due to monsoon-induced strong upward motions. The WV content showed the opposite distribution at 100 hPa, though, during spring and winter. And a different distribution at 121 hPa indicated that the difference in WV content between the northern and southern plateau occurs between 121 and 100 hPa in spring and between 147 and 121 hPa in winter. In the UTLS, it diminishes rapidly with increase in altitude in these two seasons, and it shows a “V” structure in winter. There has been a weak increasing trend in WV at 100 hPa, but a downtrend at 147 and 215 hPa, during the past 12 years. At the latter two heights, the WV content in summer has been much higher than in other seasons. Furthermore, WV variation showed a rough wave structure in spring and autumn at 215 hPa. The variation of WV over the Tibetan Plateau is helpful in understanding the stratosphere-troposphere exchange (STE) and climate change.