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Impact of Mongolian Plateau versus Tibetan Plateau on the westerly jet over North Pacific Ocean
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Impact of Mongolian Plateau versus Tibetan Plateau on the westerly jet over North Pacific Ocean


Shi, ZG ; Liu, XD; Liu, YM; Sha, YY; Xu, TT


Mountains have long been considered to play an important role in the formation of modern climate. Particularly in the Asia-Pacific sector, the existence of Tibetan Plateau (TP) is believed to maintain the stationary planetary wave patterns and to intensify the westerly jet over North Pacific. However, the potential role of Mongolian Plateau (MP) has often been neglected in these studies. With an atmospheric general circulation model, we show that the MP, despite its smaller size, exerts a great influence on the planetary-scale circulation and the subtropical westerly jet. The MP amplifies the meridional thermal gradient at the mid-upper troposphere and thus strengthens the jet, which is primarily facilitated by its high-latitude location. By blocking westerly winds, the MP forces their northern branch further northward, which allows the southward penetration of cold air at the lee side, and intensifies the East Asian trough. In contrast, the impact of the TP itself is not as large as expected. Hence, one should not simply ascribe all the mountain-induced climate change to the TP uplift, because other smaller topography might be also very important.

Corresponding author

Shi Zhengguo







Pub year

June, 2015

Publication name

Climate Dynamics




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