TOPIC Frontier Newsletter No.13 Jan.2001


Frontier Observational Research System for Global Change
Here, we like to introduce activites of the FORSGC,which collaborates with the FRSGC for the global change research. Dr.Tsutomu Kadota, sub-leader of the Hydrological Cycle Observational Research Program, explains the observation of Tibet in 2000.




Tibet observation in 2000

Dr. Tsutomu Kadota (Hydrological Cycle Observational Research Program, FORSGC )


Tibetan plateau influences the global cli- mate such as Asian monsoon through its dynamic/thermal effects on the general cir- culation of the atmosphere.It is important to clarify the seasonal and long- term variations on water and heat cycle on the Tibetan plateau and its process for the purpose of understanding the global scale climate sys- tem such as Asian monsoon.The land sur- face process group of water cycle observa- tional research program,Frontier observa- tional research system has started the obser- vations on the Tibetan plateau in 2000.

Fig.1A map of Tibetan Plateau
Fig. 1 A map of Tibetan Plateau
The route is shown by solid line and the capital letters such as G and S denote the places where the instruments have been installed and main towns on the way.

From the end of August to the early October in this year we visited the Tibetan plateau.A round trip from Lhasa (3600 m a.s.l)to Shiquanhe is about 3600 km.The mean elevation throughout the route exceeds 4000 m and there are several passes whose elevations are more than 5000 m a.s.l.Figure 1 is a map of the Tibetan Plateau,which shows the route of this time (solid line)and the places where the instru- ments have been set (G and S).We left for the west after one- week stay at Lhasa for acclimatization and preparation.We used a truck and off- road cars for transportation.

Since there were more precipitation this summer than normal,they say,the road and the bridges were washed away at several places along the narrow valley and the road turned muddy at the plain.We arrived at the first site,Gaize,after the hard six days (it takes four days on normal condition).It was hard trip for us sitting whole day in the car on the rough unpaved road.

Fig. 2 A photograph showing the AWS
Fig. 2
A photograph showing the AWS installed in the yard of Gaize meteorological station.
The purpose of the visit in this summer were as follows:

(1)maintenance of AWS (Automatic Weather System)at Gaize (ca 4400 m a.s.l.)and Shiquanhe (ca 4300 m a.s.l.) and installation of measurement systems of soil moisture/temperature (up to 2 m deep,6 levels for moisture and 10 levels for temperature)and deep soil tempera- ture (up to 10 m deep,8 levels).This is follow- up of the AWSs set in 1997 as a part of JEXAM (Japanese Experiment on Asian Monsoon)


(2)installation of precipitation measurement system in the drainage basin of Shiquanhe (upper reach of the Indus River)for a purpose of water budget study.
In addition to the observation in the west Tibet,we are planning to set up an observation base in the east Tibet through cooperation to the coming CEOP- IOP (2002 - 2003).



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