Observational and modeling data help to better understand the Third Pole

Observational and modelling data help to better understand the Third Pole
Credit: Springer

The Tibetan Plateau, known as the "Third Pole" of the world, is not only the highest plateau on the Earth, but it is also considered the "Asian Water Tower." Its watershed nourishes more than ten major rivers in Asia.

Like the North and South Poles, the Tibetan Plateau is also extremely vulnerable to climate change. Glaciers on it have been retreating extensively in recent decades. Atmospheric warming, circulation changes associated with increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases, aerosols in the atmosphere, and light-absorbing particles, such as and dust on snow are all contributing to glacial retreat.

Recently, researchers from China, the U.S. and the Netherlands have curated their "Third Pole" climate studies into a special issue of Advances in Atmospheric Sciences. The journal is hosted by the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

"This special issue focuses on the analysis of observational and modeling data to better understand the roles that the Tibetan Plateau plays in Asia's climate and even the ," said Prof. Zhao Chun from the University of Science and Technology of China, and one of the guest editors of the special issue.

Regarding the Tibetan Plateau's future climatology as indicated in the preface of the special issue, so far, scientists have not reached a consensus on a robust method of obtaining reliable climate projections. A complete physical attribution of over the Tibetan Plateau needs further analysis.

The studies published in the special issue also suggest that the regional feedbacks from topography, , and the chemical-radiative-dynamical coupling processes are critical processes in climate systems. Future research should aim to better resolve these parameters to improve simulations of regional climate and air quality over the Tibetan Plateau.

CAS scientists' latest studies on climate and environment over the Tibetan Plateau. Credit: ScienceApe

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Discovery of a tripole winter precipitation change pattern around the Tibetan Plateau in the late 1990s

More information: Yun Qian et al, Understanding Third Pole Atmospheric Dynamics and Land Surface Processes and Their Associations with the Cryosphere, Air Quality, and Climate Change, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences (2022). DOI: 10.1007/s00376-022-2004-7
Journal information: Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

Citation: Observational and modeling data help to better understand the Third Pole (2022, June 24) retrieved 9 August 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-06-pole.html
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