16
views
0
recommends
+1 Recommend
0 collections
    0
    shares
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: not found

      Dominant control of the South Asian monsoon by orographic insulation versus plateau heating.

      1 ,
      Nature
      Springer Science and Business Media LLC

      Read this article at

      ScienceOpenPublisherPubMed
      Bookmark
          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          The Tibetan plateau, like any landmass, emits energy into the atmosphere in the form of dry heat and water vapour, but its mean surface elevation is more than 5 km above sea level. This elevation is widely held to cause the plateau to serve as a heat source that drives the South Asian summer monsoon, potentially coupling uplift of the plateau to climate changes on geologic timescales. Observations of the present climate, however, do not clearly establish the Tibetan plateau as the dominant thermal forcing in the region: peak upper-tropospheric temperatures during boreal summer are located over continental India, south of the plateau. Here we show that, although Tibetan plateau heating locally enhances rainfall along its southern edge in an atmospheric model, the large-scale South Asian summer monsoon circulation is otherwise unaffected by removal of the plateau, provided that the narrow orography of the Himalayas and adjacent mountain ranges is preserved. Additional observational and model results suggest that these mountains produce a strong monsoon by insulating warm, moist air over continental India from the cold and dry extratropics. These results call for both a reinterpretation of how South Asian climate may have responded to orographic uplift, and a re-evaluation of how this climate may respond to modified land surface and radiative forcings in coming decades.

          Related collections

          Author and article information

          Journal
          Nature
          Nature
          Springer Science and Business Media LLC
          1476-4687
          0028-0836
          Jan 14 2010
          : 463
          : 7278
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.
          Article
          nature08707
          10.1038/nature08707
          20075917
          0ab367f6-f7b8-4b07-9acb-1a1d07f4bfcf
          History

          Comments

          Comment on this article