Title

Evolution and variability of the Asian monsoon and its potential linkage with uplift of the Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-1-2016

Abstract

© 2016, Tada et al. Uplift of the Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau (HTP) and its linkage with the evolution of the Asian monsoon has been regarded as a typical example of a tectonic–climate linkage. Although this linkage remains unproven because of insufficient data, our understanding has greatly advanced in the past decade. It is thus timely to summarize our knowledge of the uplift history of the HTP, the results of relevant climate simulations, and spatiotemporal changes in the Indian and East Asian monsoons since the late Eocene. Three major pulses of the HTP uplift have become evident: (1) uplift of the southern and central Tibetan Plateau (TP) at ca. 40–35 Ma, (2) uplift of the northern TP at ca. 25–20 Ma, and (3) uplift of the northeastern to eastern TP at ca. 15–10 Ma. Modeling predictions suggest that (i) uplift of the southern and central TP should have intensified the Indian summer monsoon (ISM) and the Somali Jet at 40–35 Ma; (ii) uplift of the northern TP should have intensified the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) and East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM), as well as the desertification of inland Asia at 25–20 Ma; and (iii) uplift of the northeastern and eastern TP should have further intensified the EASM and EAWM at 15–10 Ma. We tested these predictions by comparing them with paleoclimate data for the time intervals of interest. There are insufficient paleoclimate data to test whether the ISM and Somali Jet intensified with the uplift of the southern and central TP at 40–35 Ma, but it is possible that such uplift enhanced erosion and weathering that drew down atmospheric CO2 and resulted in global cooling. There is good evidence that the EASM and EAWM intensified, and desertification started in inland Asia at 25–20 Ma in association with the uplift of the northern TP. The impact of the uplift of the northeastern and eastern TP on the Asian monsoon at 15–10 Ma is difficult to evaluate because that interval was also a time of global cooling and Antarctic glaciation that might also have influenced the intensity of the Asian monsoon.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Progress in Earth and Planetary Science

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