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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 7082606, 12 pages
Research Article

Spatial-Temporal Patterns and Controls of Evapotranspiration across the Tibetan Plateau (2000–2012)

1School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu 610500, China
2Synthesis Research Centre of Chinese Ecosystem Research Network, Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modelling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Jian Sun and Junnan Xiong

Received 22 January 2017; Revised 16 June 2017; Accepted 5 July 2017; Published 9 August 2017

Academic Editor: Cesar Azorin-Molina

Copyright © 2017 Hao Zhang 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.


Evapotranspiration (ET) is a key factor to further our understanding of climate change processes, especially on the Tibetan Plateau, which is sensitive to global change. Herein, the spatial patterns of ET are examined, and the effects of environmental factors on ET at different scales are explored from the years 2000 to 2012. The results indicated that a steady trend in ET was detected over the past decade. Meanwhile, the spatial distribution shows an increase of ET from the northwest to the southeast, and the rate of change in ET is lower in the middle part of the Tibetan Plateau. Besides, the positive effect of radiation on ET existed mainly in the southwest. Based on the environment gradient transects, the ET had positive correlations with temperature (, ), precipitation (R > 0.89, p < 0.0001), and NDVI (R > 0.75, p < 0.0001), but a negative correlation between ET and radiation (R = 0.76, p < 0.0001) was observed. We also found that the relationships between environmental factors and ET differed in the different grassland ecosystems, which indicated that vegetation type is one factor that can affect ET. Generally, the results indicate that ET can serve as a valuable ecological indicator.