Coordinated Asia-European long-term Observing system of Qinghai – Tibet Plateau hydro-meteorological processes and the Asian-monsoon systEm with Ground satellite Image data and numerical Simulations
Start date: May 1, 2008,
End date: Apr 30, 2013
Human life and the entire ecosystem of South East Asia depend upon the monsoon climate and its predictability. More than 40% of the earth's population lives in this region. Droughts and floods associated with the variability of rainfall frequently cause serious damage to ecosystems in these regions and, more importantly, injury and loss of human life. The headwater areas of seven major rivers in SE Asia, i.e. Yellow River, Yangtze, Mekong, Salween, Irrawaddy, Brahmaputra and Ganges, are located in the Tibetan Plateau. Estimates of the Plateau water balance rely on sparse and scarce observations that cannot provide the required accuracy, spatial density and temporal frequency. Fully integrated use of satellite and ground observations is necessary to support water resources management in SE Asia and to clarify the roles of the interactions between the land surface and the atmosphere over the Tibetan Plateau in the Asian monsoon system. The goal of this project is to: 1. Construct out of existing ground measurements and current / future satellites an observing system to determine and monitor the water yield of the Plateau, i.e. how much water is finally going into the seven major rivers of SE Asia; this requires estimating snowfall, rainfall, evapotranspiration and changes in soil moisture; 2. Monitor the evolution of snow, vegetation cover, surface wetness and surface fluxes and analyze the linkage with convective activity, (extreme) precipitation events and the Asian Monsoon; this aims at using monitoring of snow, vegetation and surface fluxes as a precursor of intense precipitation towards improving forecasts of (extreme) precipitations in SE Asia. A series of international efforts initiated in 1996 with the GAME-Tibet project. The effort described in this proposal builds upon 10 years of experimental and modeling research and the consortium includes many key-players and pioneers of this long term research initiative.
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