INTERACTIONS BETWEEN TOPOGRAPHY AND THE ATMOSPHERE:THE ROLE OF ASIAN TOPOGRAPHIES ON THE INDO-ASIAN MONSOON

2019-01-16T15:41:39Z (GMT) by Paul R. Acosta
Topography influences climate dynamics by redirecting how the atmosphere transports moisture, and energy. By doing so, topography alters precipitation patterns, circulation of wind, riverine fluxes, and ocean upwelling distributions. This dissertation investigates the linkages between major topographic features and atmospheric dynamics within an Earth System perspective. The studies presented build upon the foundations of theoretical atmospheric thermodynamics and dynamical principles and primarily delves into the interactions between the Indo-Asian Monsoon and the surrounding topographies. First, I explore gaps in the current body of literature, mainly using observational datasets and reanalysis products. I then add in more sophisticated tools, such as general circulation models (GCMs) to investigate how terrain orogen impact the regional climatic regime with an emphasis on the monsoonal environment. To do so I explore drawbacks in using currently available GCMs and demonstrate the necessity of utilizing appropriate model horizontal-grid resolution when studying atmosphere-terrain interactions. I then delve into reexamining previously explored monsoon theories, and develop new concepts and theories for the Indo-Asian Monsoon. Lastly, I apply such model tools to further understand the orogen of the Tibetan Plateau. To do so, I examine the paleoenthalpy methods and determine its viability in measuring the paleoelevation of the Tibetan Plateau. Ultimately, we apply this method to aid the paleoclimate community in deciphering the evolution of Tibet during the Cenozoic era. Constraining the evolution of the regional topography is crucial for understanding the hydrological cycle and the climatic evolution of Eurasia.