Advances in Earth Science ›› 2023, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (6): 580-593. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2023.029

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Characteristics over Three Plateaus in Asia and Their Synergistic Impact on Weather and Climate in China: An Overview

Nan YAO 1 , 2( ), Yaoming MA 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6( )   

  1. 1.Land-Atmosphere Interaction and Its Climatic Effects Group, State Key Laboratory of Tibetan Plateau Earth System, Resources and Environment (TPESRE), Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    2.College of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3.College of Atmospheric Science, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
    4.National Observation and Research Station for Qomolongma Special Atmospheric Processes and Environmental Changes, Dingri Tibet 858200, China
    5.Kathmandu Center of Research and Education, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    6.China -Pakistan Joint Research Center on Earth Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Islamabad 45320, Pakistan
  • Received:2023-01-03 Revised:2023-04-18 Online:2023-06-10 Published:2023-06-07
  • Contact: Yaoming MA;
  • About author:YAO Nan (1996-), female, Nanyang City, Henan Province, Ph.D student. Research areas include climate effects of land-atmosphere interaction over Tibetan Plateau. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    the National Natural Science Foundation of China “The study of land-atmosphere water and heat flux interaction over the complex terrain of north and south slopes of the Qomolangma region”(42230610);The Ministry of Science and Technology of China “Land-atmosphere interaction and its climate effect of the Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research Program”(2019QZKK0103)

Nan YAO, Yaoming MA. Characteristics over Three Plateaus in Asia and Their Synergistic Impact on Weather and Climate in China: An Overview[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2023, 38(6): 580-593.

The Tibetan Plateau (TP), Iranian Plateau (IP), and Mongolian Plateau (MP) belong to Asian high-altitude regions. Thermal forcing over the three plateaus is important in contemporaneous and subsequent weather and climate in China. Examination of the spatial and temporal variation characteristics of surface sensible heat over the three plateaus revealed remarkable interannual and interdecadal changes attributable to global warming that occurred from the end of the 20th century to the beginning of the 21st century. Their relationships and possible mechanisms are discussed. A summary of the research progress on the impact of surface thermal conditions over the three plateaus on the weather and climate of China during spring and summer revealed three findings. First, over the TP, sensible heating has a significant impact on the formation, development, and eastward movement of the TP vortex, which induces rainstorms in the eastern part of China with an appropriate circulation background. Second, the Tibetan-Iranian Plateau (TIP) “sensible heat driven air-pump” favors the development of upward flow over the Asian monsoon region. The combined contribution of TIP thermal condition is greater than their linear superposition to the summer precipitation in southern China. Third, the warmer and drier conditions in northern China are closely related to the compensatory downdraft induced by thermal forcing over the TP, IP, and MP. In addition, the abnormal surface heating of the three plateaus triggers abnormalities in local circulation and regulates the weather and climate over northern China through teleconnection patterns. The paper concludes with a discussion of future research considerations and challenges regarding the synergism of the TP, IP, and MP.

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