Resonance between projected Tibetan Plateau surface darkening and Arctic climate change

Shuchang Tang, Shilong Piao, David M. Holland, Fei Kan, Tao Wang, Tandong Yao, Xichen Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Tibetan Plateau (TP) exerts a profound influence on global climate over million-year timescales due to its past uplift. However, whether the ongoing climate changes over the TP, particularly the persistent reduction in its local albedo (referred to as “TP surface darkening”), can exert global impacts remains elusive. In this study, a state-of-the-art coupled land–atmosphere global climate model has been employed to scrutinize the impact of TP darkening on polar climate changes. Results indicate that the projected TP darkening has the potential to generate a stationary Rossby wave train, thereby modulating the atmospheric circulation in the high-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere and instigating a dipole-like surface air temperature anomaly pattern around the Arctic region. An additional experiment suggests that the projected Arctic warming may in return warm the TP, thus forming a bi-directional linkage between these two climate systems. Given their association with vast ice reservoirs, the elucidation of this mechanism in our study is crucial in advancing our comprehension of Earth system climate projections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-374
Number of pages8
JournalScience Bulletin
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 15 2024


  • Albedo
  • Arctic
  • Climate change
  • High-latitude Northern Hemisphere
  • Surface darkening
  • Tibetan Plateau

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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