Jieru Ma, Xiaodan Guan, Jianping Huang, and Ruixia Guo
Key Laboratory for Semi-Arid Climate Change of the Ministry of Education,
College of Atmospheric Sciences,
Lanzhou, 730000, China
The Tibetan Plateau as the Earth’s “third pole” has a key role in global climate change and its temperature variability has significantly affected the energy and water cycle processes in Asia, thus affecting its weather and climate patterns, the Asian monsoon process and the Northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation. In the recent decade, hiatus is the hottest issue in the community of climate change. As the area of great importance, the Tibetan Plateau (TP), however, did show continuous warming in the past decades, even in the recent hiatus period. To explore why the TP did not show hiatus, we divide the surface air temperature into dynamically-induced temperature (DIT) and radiatively-forced temperature (RFT) by applying the dynamical adjustment method. Our results show that DIT displayed a relatively uniform warming background in the TP. Meanwhile, the RFT played the dominant role in warming over the TP. The warming role is illustrated using the temperature change between perturbed and control simulation responses to CO2 or black carbon (BC) forcing via Community Earth System Model (CESM). It shows that an obvious warming in the TP is induced by the CO2 warming effect, and BC exhibits an amplifying effect on the warming. Therefore, the continuous warming in the TP was a result of uniform DIT warming over a large scale and enhanced RFT warming at a regional scale. The characteristics of enhanced RFT warming and the possible role of more radiation factors in the warming process over the TP was also discussed in detail. Our results provide the basis for the further research of fine regional mechanism and the improvement of regional climate simulation in the TP.