Climate Change

Warming and Wetting of the Northern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Under Global Climate Change

Main image to the post Warming and Wetting of the Northern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Under Global Climate Change

The northern margin of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, known as the "roof of the world," is projected to experience significant warming and increased precipitation under the influence of global climate change. This finding is based on a study conducted by researchers at Lanzhou University and published in the Chinese journal Scientia Sinica (Terrae).

The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is a crucial region for studying climate change due to its sensitivity to changes in the Asian summer monsoon and mid-latitude westerly wind circulation. By comparing ancient environmental records, paleoclimate simulations, and modern observations, the research team examined dry-wet variations during warm periods in the past and projected them into the future.

The study revealed that the dry-wet pattern on the northern margin of the plateau during the modern warm period resembles that of the medieval warm period. Continued warming is expected to expand the westerlies, leading to a gradually moister climate. Future dry-wet changes are anticipated to align more closely with the mid-Holocene warm period, characterized by warmth and moisture.

Despite the projected warming and increased precipitation on the northern edge of the plateau, the overall climate pattern of China is not expected to change significantly. This inference, first proposed in the 1980s by academician Shi Yafeng, has been corroborated by recent authoritative studies.

The study highlights the importance of understanding the periodicity of climate change in historical warm periods to predict future dry and humid changes. Exploring the rules and mechanisms of climate change on the northern margin of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau will contribute to a better understanding of the region's climate and environmental change characteristics and response mechanisms at different time scales.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09