Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 157–168 | Cite as

Impact of surface sensible heating over the Tibetan Plateau on the western Pacific subtropical high: A land–air–sea interaction perspective

Original Paper


The impact of surface sensible heating over the Tibetan Plateau (SHTP) on the western Pacific subtropical high (WPSH) with and without air–sea interaction was investigated in this study. Data analysis indicated that SHTP acts as a relatively independent factor in modulating the WPSH anomaly compared with ENSO events. Stronger spring SHTP is usually followed by an enhanced and westward extension of the WPSH in summer, and vice versa. Numerical experiments using both an AGCM and a CGCM confirmed that SHTP influences the large-scale circulation anomaly over the Pacific, which features a barotropic anticyclonic response over the northwestern Pacific and a cyclonic response to the south. Owing to different background circulation in spring and summer, such a response facilitates a subdued WPSH in spring but an enhanced WPSH in summer. Moreover, the CGCM results showed that the equatorial low-level westerly at the south edge of the cyclonic anomaly brings about a warm SST anomaly (SSTA) in the equatorial central Pacific via surface warm advection. Subsequently, an atmospheric Rossby wave is stimulated to the northwest of the warm SSTA, which in turn enhances the atmospheric dipole anomalies over the western Pacific. Therefore, the air–sea feedbacks involved tend to reinforce the effect of SHTP on the WPSH anomaly, and the role of SHTP on general circulation needs to be considered in a land–air–sea interaction framework.


Tibetan Plateau surface sensible heating western Pacific subtropical high ENSO tropical air–sea interaction 


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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 Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modelling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological DisastersNanjing University of Information Science and TechnologyNanjingChina
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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