Elevation dependency amongst climate change signals has been found in major mountain ranges around the world, but the main factors causing this dependency have not been clarified. In this study, four different datasets of observation and reanalysis for China were used to examine the elevation dependency of climate change. A lack of consistency was found in dependency between warming magnitude and elevation across the Tibetan Plateau and China. However, a dependency of climate change on water vapor was detected whereby the temperature trend initially increased at low specific humidity, and then decreased as specific humidity increased. At ground level the maximum trend in temperature appeared in the specific humidity range 2.0–3.0 g kg-1. This suggests that water vapor is a mediator of climate change and may be responsible for elevation-dependent climate change.
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Vol. 8 • No. 1