A Distinct Change in Atmospheric Circulation on the Central Tibetan Plateau at 16,800 Years Ago
Wednesday, 17 December 2014
The Tibetan Plateau (TP) has experienced similar environmental and climatic events as the Realm of North Atlantic Ocean (NA) since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). However, previous studies have not discussed in detail whether the influence is transported through the westerly crossing the Eurasian continent or by the thermohaline circulation influencing the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM). Using observations in the transition zone between the westerly and the ISM on the TP, pollen assemblage variations from a lacustrine sediment record indicate changes in circulations patterns. Before 16.8 ka BP, climate on the TP was controlled by the southward westerly and the dipole-shaped tropical Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) and rainfall anomaly due to sub-polar ice sheet expanding in the NA areas. After 16.8 ka BP, the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) exerted more influence to the Indian Ocean currents and then to the ISM, which was the dominant atmospheric circulation on the TP areas during the whole period.