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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
21 Nov 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper was accepted for the journal The Cryosphere (TC) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Complex Principal Component Analysis of Mass Balance Change on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
Jingang Zhan1, Hongling Shi1, Yong Wang1, and Yixin Yao1,2 1State Key Laboratory of Geodesy and Earth's Dynamics, Institute of Geodesy and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430077, China
2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Abstract. Abstract. This paper analyzes the spatial characteristics of mass balance change on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and surrounding areas, using 153 monthly solutions of temporal gravity data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment(in this case GRACE) satellite. Spatial mode characteristics and phase information of mass balance change are analyzed using complex principal component analysis (in this case CPCA). Information on time-frequency change of major components is analyzed using the wavelet amplitude-period spectrum. The results show that the mass balance change on the plateau is influenced by various atmospheric circulations and there are obvious systemic differences, namely, glacial fluctuation of the Himalayas area was mainly influenced by the weakening Indian monsoon, El Niño and East Asian monsoon. There were drastic changes of glacier mass gain and loss balance. Apart from the Indian monsoon and El Niño affected on mass balance in inland areas of the plateau, the northern parts of the plateau was also affected by the westerlies and there was a positive mass balance, with mass gain exceeding loss. The Pamirs and the Karakoram Range areas are influenced not only by the Indian monsoon and westerlies but also by the climate change of El Niño and La Niña, and mass change shows a weak mass balanced. The major influence on the change of mass balance on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau was the weakening Indian monsoon, which was responsible for 54.0 % of that change. Because El Niño is strengthening, it has recently become the second major factor affecting the change of mass balance, responsible for 16.3 % of that change. The third major influence was the westerlies and of La Niña-related climate change, accounting for 5.6 % of the mass balance change.

Citation: Zhan, J., Shi, H., Wang, Y., and Yao, Y.: Complex Principal Component Analysis of Mass Balance Change on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, The Cryosphere Discuss., doi:10.5194/tc-2016-259, in review, 2016.
Jingang Zhan et al.
Jingang Zhan et al.


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Short summary
The mass balance change on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the result of interaction between the atmospheric vapor and the surface water resources. Here, we evaluated the spatial characteristics and principal components of mass balance change using CPCA and wavelet analysis. The results reflect the four major different atmospheric circulation patterns change and their contribution percentages to mass balance, the novelty of the phase information revealed their impact area and travel route in detail.
The mass balance change on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the result of interaction between the...