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Southern Himalayas rainfall as a key driver of interannual variation of pre-monsoon aerosols over the Tibetan Plateau

Presentation Date
Thursday, December 14, 2023 at 2:10pm - Thursday, December 14, 2023 at 6:30pm
MC - Poster Hall A-C - South



The Tibetan Plateau (TP) is one of the most climate sensitive regions around the world. Aerosols imported from adjacent regions reach its peak during the pre-monsoon season and play a vital role in the TP environment. However, the strong interannual variation in aerosols transported to the TP has not been fully understood. Here, we show that the interannual variability of pre-monsoon aerosols transported to the TP is influenced more by rainfall over the southern Himalayas than near-surface wind. Rainfall modulates fire events and biomass burning emissions and reduces aerosols over the TP by wet scavenging. Contrary to the role of wind in increasing aerosol transport, the positive correlation between wind and aerosols in the TP reported in previous studies is contributed by the negative interannual correlations between wind and rainfall and between rainfall and fire events over the southern Himalayas. This study highlights the co-variability of wind and rainfall and their confounding impacts on aerosols in the southern Himalayas and over the TP. With pre-monsoon rainfall projected to increase in adjacent regions of southern TP, aerosol transport to the TP may be mitigated in the future.

Funding Program Area(s)