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China builds vertical climate observation system in Tibet

Qinghai-Tibet Plateau research institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) on Monday, November 18, 2019 said Chinese scientists have built a vertical climate observation system in a remote region in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.

Li Keqiang
China’s Premier, Li Keqiang

Located in Medog County of Tibet, the system is capable of recording climate data with a total altitude span of about 3,400 meters (from about 800 to 4,300 meters above sea level) and an average altitude interval of about 300 meters.

The observation system is made up of 17 automated weather stations, which include nine comprehensive stations, four weather stations and four others for observing microclimate in forests.

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Zhang Lin, deputy director of the Medog Centre of the CAS, said the establishment of the system will lay a solid foundation for understanding the processes and mechanisms of climate.

Zhang said the system will also help in the understanding of ecology, hydrology, glacier and geological hazards in the eastern Himalayas under the influence of the Indian monsoon.

Medog and its surrounding areas boast the most complete vertical natural zoned spectrum in China.

They are also the main channel for water vapour incurred by the Indian monsoon to enter the plateau.

However, due to frequent occurrences of geological disasters, there has been a lack of a complete vertical climatic observation system in the region.

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This hinders in-depth studies on major frontier scientific issues such as atmosphere, hydrology, biodiversity and glacier changes.


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