U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


Snowpack Pollution on the Tibetan Plateau Has Influence on the Asian Monsoon
Published: March 07, 2011
Posted: March 17, 2011

The Tibetan Plateau has long been identified as critical in regulating the Asian monsoon climate and hydrological cycle. BER-funded scientists conducted a series of numerical experiments with a global climate model designed to simulate the radiative effect of black carbon and dust in snow. The results show a large, black carbon content in snow, especially over the southern slope of the Tibetan Plateau, prompting snow melt and runoff increases during late winter and early spring but decreases during late spring and early summer. Changes in snow cover also cause the Tibetan Plateau to be warmer at the onset of the summer monsoon season, forcing a stronger thermal contrast between the land and the ocean, which in turn drives a stronger monsoon in Asia. This research indicates that pollution on snow has the potential of drastically affecting regional climate.

Reference: Qian, Y., M. G. Flanner, L. R. Leung, and W. Wang. 2011. “Sensitivity Studies on the Impacts of Tibetan Plateau Snowpack Pollution on the Asian Hydrological Cycle and Monsoon Climate,” Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, available online. Press release can be found at http://www.pnnl.gov/news/release.aspx?id=851.

Contact: Renu Joseph, SC-23.1, (301) 903-9237, Dorothy Koch, SC-23.1, (301) 903-0105
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER

 

BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

May 10, 2019
Quantifying Decision Uncertainty in Water Management via a Coupled Agent-Based Model
Considering risk perception can improve the representation of human decision-making processes in age [more...]

May 09, 2019
Projecting Global Urban Area Growth Through 2100 Based on Historical Time Series Data and Future Scenarios
Study provides country-specific urban area growth models and the first dataset on country-level urba [more...]

May 05, 2019
Calibrating Building Energy Demand Models to Refine Long-Term Energy Planning
A new, flexible calibration approach improved model accuracy in capturing year-to-year changes in bu [more...]

May 03, 2019
Calibration and Uncertainty Analysis of Demeter for Better Downscaling of Global Land Use and Land Cover Projections
Researchers improved the Demeter model’s performance by calibrating key parameters and establi [more...]

Apr 22, 2019
Representation of U.S. Warm Temperature Extremes in Global Climate Model Ensembles
Representation of warm temperature events varies considerably among global climate models, which has [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)