Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 709–722 | Cite as

Sensitivity of East Asian climate to the progressive uplift and expansion of the Tibetan Plateau under the mid-Pliocene boundary conditions

  • Dabang Jiang (姜大膀)Email author
  • Zhongli Ding (丁仲礼)
  • Helge Drange
  • Yongqi Gao (郜永祺)
Open Access


A global atmospheric general circulation model has been used to perform eleven idealized numerical experiments, i.e., TP00, TP10, ..., TP100, corresponding to different percentages of the Tibetan Plateau altitude. The aim is to explore the sensitivity of East Asian climate to the uplift and expansion of the Tibetan Plateau under the reconstructed boundary conditions for the mid-Pliocene about 3 Ma ago. When the plateau is progressively uplifted, global annual surface temperature is gradually declined and statistically significant cooling signals emerge only in the Northern Hemisphere, especially over and around the Tibetan Plateau, with larger magnitudes over land than over the oceans. On the contrary, annual surface temperature rises notably over Central Asia and most parts of Africa, as well as over northeasternmost Eurasia in the experiments TP60 to TP100. Meanwhile, the plateau uplift also leads to annual precipitation augmentation over the Tibetan Plateau but a reduction in northern Asia, the Indian Peninsula, much of Central Asia, parts of western Asia and the southern portions of northeastern Europe. Additionally, it is found that an East Asian summer monsoon system similar to that of the present initially exists in the TP60 and is gradually intensified with the continued plateau uplift. At 850 hPa the plateau uplift induces an anomalous cyclonic circulation around the Tibetan Plateau in summertime and two anomalous westerly currents respectively located to the south and north of the Tibetan Plateau in wintertime. In the mid-troposphere, similar-to-modern spatial pattern of summertime western North Pacific subtropical high is only exhibited in the experiments TP60 to TP100, and the East Asian trough is steadily deepened in response to the progressive uplift and expansion of the Tibetan Plateau.

Key words

Tibetan Plateau uplift East Asian climate mid-Pliocene model 


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Copyright information

© Chinese National Committee for International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dabang Jiang (姜大膀)
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Zhongli Ding (丁仲礼)
    • 2
  • Helge Drange
    • 3
  • Yongqi Gao (郜永祺)
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Nansen-Zhu International Research Centre, Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Geology and GeophysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing CentreBergenNorway
  4. 4.Max Planck Institute for BiogeochemistryJenaGermany

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