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Recent Progress in the Impact of the Tibetan Plateau on Climate in China


doi: 10.1007/s00376-007-1060-3

  • Studies of the impacts of the Tibetan Plateau (TP) on climate in China in the last four years are reviewed. It is reported that temperature and precipitation over the TP have increased during recent decades. From satellite data analysis, it is demonstrated that most of the precipitation over the TP is from deep convection clouds. Moreover, the huge TP mechanical forcing and extraordinary elevated thermal forcing impose remarkable impacts upon local circulation and global climate. In winter and spring, stream flow is deflected by a large obstacle and appears as an asymmetric dipole, making East Asia much colder than mid Asia in winter and forming persistent rainfall in late winter and early spring over South China. In late spring, TP heating contributes to the establishment and intensification of the South Asian high and the abrupt seasonal transition of the surrounding circulations. In summer, TP heating in conjunction with the TP air pump cause the deviating stream field to resemble a cyclonic spiral, converging towards and rising over the TP. Therefore, the prominent Asian monsoon climate over East Asia and the dry climate over mid Asia in summer are forced by both TP local forcing and Eurasian continental forcing. Due to the longer memory of snow and soil moisture, the TP thermal status both in summer and in late winter and spring can influence the variation of Eastern Asian summer rainfall. A combined index using both snow cover over the TP and the ENSO index in winter shows a better seasonal forecast. On the other hand, strong sensible heating over the Tibetan Plateau in spring contributes significantly to anchor the earliest Asian monsoon being over the eastern Bay of Bengal (BOB) and the western Indochina peninsula. Qualitative prediction of the BOB monsoon onset was attempted by using the sign of meridional temperature gradient in March in the upper troposphere, or at 400 hPa over the TP. It is also demonstrated by a numerical experiment and theoretical study that the heating over the TP leads to a significant variability in the atmospheric circulation on a quasi-biweekly timescale, bearing much similarity to that found from observational studies. Finally, some important issues for further work in understanding the impacts of the TP are raised.
  • [1] Lun LI, Renhe ZHANG, Min WEN, Jianping DUAN, 2018: Modulation of the Intensity of Nascent Tibetan Plateau Vortices by Atmospheric Quasi-Biweekly Oscillation, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 35, 1347-1361.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-018-8057-y
    [2] Haikun ZHAO, Chunzai WANG, Ryuji YOSHIDA, 2016: Modulation of Tropical Cyclogenesis in the Western North Pacific by the Quasi-Biweekly Oscillation, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 33, 1361-1375.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-016-5267-z
    [3] LIU Ge, WU Renguang, ZHANG Yuanzhi, and NAN Sulan, 2014: The Summer Snow Cover Anomaly over the Tibetan Plateau and Its Association with Simultaneous Precipitation over the Mei-yu-Baiu region, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 31, 755-764.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-013-3183-z
    [4] DUAN Anmin, WU Guoxiong, LIU Yimin, MA Yaoming, ZHAO Ping, 2012: Weather and Climate Effects of the Tibetan Plateau, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 29, 978-992.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-012-1220-y
    [5] WANG Chenghai, SHI Hongxia, HU Haolin, WANG Yi, XI Baike, 2015: Properties of Cloud and Precipitation over the Tibetan Plateau, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 32, 1504-1516.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-015-4254-0
    [6] BIAN Jianchun, 2009: Features of Ozone Mini-Hole Events over the Tibetan Plateau, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 26, 305-311.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-009-0305-8
    [7] YANG Kun, Toshio KOIKE, 2008: Satellite Monitoring of the Surface Water and Energy Budget in the Central Tibetan Plateau, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 25, 974-985.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-008-0974-8
    [8] ZHU Weijun, Yongsheng ZHANG, 2009: Summertime Atmospheric Teleconnection Pattern Associated with a Warming over the Eastern Tibetan Plateau, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 26, 413-422.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-009-0413-5
    [9] Li Guo ping, Lu Jinghua, Jin Bingling, Bu Nima, 2001: The Effects of Anomalous Snow Cover of the Tibetan Plateau on the Surface Heating, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 18, 1207-1214.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-001-0034-0
    [10] LI Ying, HU Zeyong, 2009: A Study on Parameterization of Surface Albedo over Grassland Surface in the Northern Tibetan Plateau, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 26, 161-168.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-009-0161-6
    [11] YOU Wei, ZANG Zengliang, PAN Xiaobin, ZHANG Lifeng, LI Yi, 2015: Statistical Analysis of Thunderstorms on the Eastern Tibetan Plateau Based on Modified Thunderstorm Indices, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 32, 515-527.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-014-4039-x
    [12] WANG Leidi, LÜ Daren, HE Qing, 2015: The Impact of Surface Properties on Downward Surface Shortwave Radiation over the Tibetan Plateau, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 32, 759-771.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-014-4131-2
    [13] Yahao WU, Liping LIU, 2017: Statistical Characteristics of Raindrop Size Distribution in the Tibetan Plateau and Southern China, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 34, 727-736.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-016-5235-7
    [14] Wu Aiming, Ni Yunqi, 1997: The Influence of Tibetan Plateau on the Interannual Variability of Atmospheric Circulation over Tropical Pacific, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 14, 69-80.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-997-0045-6
    [15] Jiang Hao, Wang Keli, 2001: Analysis of the Surface Temperature on the Tibetan Plateau from Satellite, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 18, 1215-1223.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-001-0035-z
    [16] Liu Huizhi, Zhang Hongsheng, Bian Lin'gen, Chen Jiayi, Zhou Mingyu, Xu Xiangde, Li Shiming, Zhao Yijun, 2002: Characteristics of Micrometeorology in the Surface Layer in the Tibetan Plateau, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 19, 73-88.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-002-0035-7
    [17] Liu Liping, Feng Jinming, Chu Rongzhong, Zhou Yunjun, K. Ueno, 2002: The Diurnal Variation of Precipitation in Monsoon Season in the Tibetan Plateau, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 19, 365-378.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-002-0028-6
    [18] Chen Lianshou, Luo Zhexian, 2002: The Impact of the Eastward Shifting of Dipole Systems over Large-Scale Terrain on Tropical Cyclone Tracks, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 19, 1069-1078.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-002-0065-1
    [19] BIAN Lingen, XU Xiangde, LU Longhua, GAO Zhiqiu, ZHOU Mingyu, LIU Huizhi, 2003: Analyses of Turbulence Parameters in the Near-Surface Layer at Qamdo of the Southeastern Tibetan Plateau, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 20, 369-378.  doi: 10.1007/BF02690795
    [20] JIN Liya, WANG Huijun, CHEN Fahu, JIANG Dabang, 2006: A Possible Impact of Cooling over the Tibetan Plateau on the Mid-Holocene East Asian Monsoon Climate, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 23, 543-550.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-006-0543-y

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Manuscript History

Manuscript received: 10 November 2007
Manuscript revised: 10 November 2007
通讯作者: 陈斌, bchen63@163.com
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    沈阳化工大学材料科学与工程学院 沈阳 110142

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Recent Progress in the Impact of the Tibetan Plateau on Climate in China

  • 1. State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics ( LASG), Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029,State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics ( LASG), Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029,State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics ( LASG), Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029,Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000,State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics ( LASG), Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029

Abstract: Studies of the impacts of the Tibetan Plateau (TP) on climate in China in the last four years are reviewed. It is reported that temperature and precipitation over the TP have increased during recent decades. From satellite data analysis, it is demonstrated that most of the precipitation over the TP is from deep convection clouds. Moreover, the huge TP mechanical forcing and extraordinary elevated thermal forcing impose remarkable impacts upon local circulation and global climate. In winter and spring, stream flow is deflected by a large obstacle and appears as an asymmetric dipole, making East Asia much colder than mid Asia in winter and forming persistent rainfall in late winter and early spring over South China. In late spring, TP heating contributes to the establishment and intensification of the South Asian high and the abrupt seasonal transition of the surrounding circulations. In summer, TP heating in conjunction with the TP air pump cause the deviating stream field to resemble a cyclonic spiral, converging towards and rising over the TP. Therefore, the prominent Asian monsoon climate over East Asia and the dry climate over mid Asia in summer are forced by both TP local forcing and Eurasian continental forcing. Due to the longer memory of snow and soil moisture, the TP thermal status both in summer and in late winter and spring can influence the variation of Eastern Asian summer rainfall. A combined index using both snow cover over the TP and the ENSO index in winter shows a better seasonal forecast. On the other hand, strong sensible heating over the Tibetan Plateau in spring contributes significantly to anchor the earliest Asian monsoon being over the eastern Bay of Bengal (BOB) and the western Indochina peninsula. Qualitative prediction of the BOB monsoon onset was attempted by using the sign of meridional temperature gradient in March in the upper troposphere, or at 400 hPa over the TP. It is also demonstrated by a numerical experiment and theoretical study that the heating over the TP leads to a significant variability in the atmospheric circulation on a quasi-biweekly timescale, bearing much similarity to that found from observational studies. Finally, some important issues for further work in understanding the impacts of the TP are raised.

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