Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling
09 March 2020

Land-Atmosphere Coupling Over Tibetan Plateau

Science

A detailed description of spatiotemporal variability in sensible heat fluxes (SH) over the Tibetan Plateau. This is a region of high atmosphere-surface coupling and profound importance to the climate system. Declines in SH prior to 2000 resulted from changes in wind speeds, with the subsequent recovery in SH being due to increases in both wind speeds and air‐surface temperature gradients.

Impact

The surface energy balance and specifically sensible heat fluxes (SH) over Tibetan Plateau (TP) dictate the seasonal conversion, onset, and maintenance of the Asian monsoon and other major components of the climate system. Understanding the spatiotemporal variability and time scale of variability is key to understanding internal climate variability and making more robust climate projections.

Summary

We present an analysis of sensible heat (SH) fluxes over the Tibetan Plateau based on multiple reanalyses and in situ data in order to detect and attribute variability in SH. The surface energy balance (atmosphere-surface coupling) and specifically sensible heat fluxes (SH) over Tibetan Plateau (TP) dictate the seasonal conversion, onset, and maintenance of the Asian monsoon and other major components of the climate system. Understanding the spatiotemporal variability and time scale of variability is key to understanding internal climate variability and making more robust climate projections. The analyses show; (1) Declines in SH prior to 2000 resulted from changes in wind speeds, with the subsequent recovery in SH being due to increases in both wind speeds and air‐surface temperature gradients. (2) ERA-Interim is the reanalysis with the highest fidelity relative to observations.

Contact
S.C. Pryor
Cornell University
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