• Open Access

What is the relationship between China summer precipitation and the change of apparent heat source over the Tibetan Plateau?

Authors

  • Xiangde Xu,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, China
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  • Chungu Lu,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, U.S. National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA, USA
    • Correspondence to: C. Lu, Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, U.S. National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA 22230, USA.

      E-mail: clu@nsf.gov

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  • Yihui Ding,

    1. National Climate Center, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing, China
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  • Xiaohui Shi,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, China
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  • Yudi Guo,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, China
    2. School of Atmospheric Physics, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China
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  • Wenhui Zhu

    1. State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, China
    2. School of Atmospheric Physics, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China
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  • This article has been contributed to by US Government employees and their work is in the public domain in the USA.

Abstract

It is well documented that the East Asian summer monsoon has been experiencing a steady weakening trend in recent decades. Because the Asian summer monsoon (including both East Asian monsoon and South Asian monsoon) is the largest and most pronounced monsoonal system in the world, its change in strength may exert a profound impact on global weather and climate systems, especially on the rainfall pattern in South and East Asia. On the other hand, as a vast elevated landmass, the Tibetan Plateau forms a huge heat source protruding into the free atmosphere. Setting against the backdrop of global climate change, whether or not does the change of this heating affect the change of Asian summer monsoon and thus rainfall distribution? Here we show that the apparent heat source over the Tibetan Plateau is closely correlated with the East Asian summer monsoonal circulation, and that the weakening of the East Asian summer monsoon is closely associated with the decreasing trend of the Tibetan Plateau apparent heat source. Further analysis indicates that the change of rainfall pattern in China in recent decades is consistent with the decreasing of the East Asian summer monsoon.

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