Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 58, Issue 34, pp 4277–4291 | Cite as

Influence of the Tibetan Plateau uplift on the Asian monsoon-arid environment evolution

  • XiaoDong Liu
  • BuWen Dong
Open Access
Review Geology


As one of the most important geological events in Cenozoic era, the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau (TP) has had profound influences on the Asian and global climate and environment evolution. During the past four decades, many scholars from China and abroad have studied climatic and environmental effects of the TP uplift by using a variety of geological records and paleoclimate numerical simulations. The existing research results enrich our understanding of the mechanisms of Asian monsoon changes and interior aridification, but so far there are still a lot of issues that need to be thought deeply and investigated further. This paper attempts to review the research on the influence of the TP uplift on the Asian monsoon-arid environment, summarize three types of numerical simulations including bulk-plateau uplift, phased uplift and sub-regional uplift, and especially to analyze regional differences in responses of climate and environment to different forms of tectonic uplifts. From previous modeling results, the land-sea distribution and the Himalayan uplift may have a large effect in the establishment and development of the South Asian monsoon. However, the formation and evolution of the monsoon in northern East Asia, the intensified dryness north of the TP and enhanced Asian dust cycle may be more closely related to the uplift of the main body, especially the northern part of the TP. In this review, we also discuss relative roles of the TP uplift and other impact factors, origins of the South Asian monsoon and East Asian monsoon, feedback effects and nonlinear responses of climatic and environmental changes to the plateau uplift. Finally, we make comparisons between numerical simulations and geological records, discuss their uncertainties, and highlight some problems worthy of further studying.


Tibetan Plateau tectonic uplift Asian monsoon inland aridity environmental evolution geological record numerical simulation 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesXi’anChina
  2. 2.School of Human Settlements and Civil EngineeringXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  3. 3.National Centre for Atmospheric ScienceUniversity of ReadingReadingUK

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