THE TIBETAN PLATEAU SURFACE ENERGY BUDGET AND ITS TELECONNECTION WITH THE EAST ASIAN SUMMER MONSOON: EVIDENCE FROM GROUND OBSERVATIONS, REMOTE SENSING, AND REANALYSIS DATASETS
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Estimations from meteorological stations indicate that the surface sensible heat flux over the Tibetan Plateau has been decreasing continuously since the 1980s. Modeling studies suggest that such change is physically linked to the weakening of the East Asian summer monsoon through Rossby wave trains. However, the relationship between the surface energy budget over the entire Tibetan Plateau and the East Asian summer monsoon rainfall has rarely been examined. The objective of this study is to quantify the relationship between the surface energy budget over the Tibetan Plateau and the East Asian summer monsoon, using ground observations, remote sensing, and reanalysis datasets with three specific questions: What are the spatiotemporal characteristics of the surface radiation and energy budgets over the Tibetan Plateau in recent decades? How does the interannual variation of the surface radiation and energy budgets correlate to, respond to, and impact the observed regional surface and atmospheric anomalies? And can the changes of the surface energy budget component over the Tibetan Plateau explain the weakening of the East Asian summer monsoon and associated precipitation changes in China? To address those questions, I 1) develop a fused monthly surface radiation and energy budgets dataset over the Tibetan Plateau using ground and satellite observations and reanalysis datasets; 2) analyze the spatial distribution of the fused surface radiation and energy budgets, and assess its correlations with the observed surface and atmospheric conditions over the Tibetan Plateau; and 3) test the hypothesis of whether the Asian summer monsoon rainfall is under the impact of the spring sensible heat flux over the Tibetan Plateau through correlation analysis, regression analysis, Granger causality test, and composite analysis. The root mean square errors from cross validation are 18.9 Wm-2, 10.3 Wm-2, 14.3 Wm-2 for the fused monthly surface net radiation, latent heat flux, and sensible heat flux. The fused downward shortwave irradiance, sensible heat flux, and latent heat flux anomalies are consistent with those estimated from meteorological stations. The associations among the fused surface radiation and energy budgets and the related surface anomalies such as mean temperature, temperature range, snow cover, and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index in addition to the atmospheric anomalies such as cloud cover and water vapor show seasonal dependence over the Tibetan Plateau. The decreased late spring sensible heat flux, which is sustained throughout the summer, has been associated with suppressed summer rainfall in the north of China and the north of Indian and enhanced rainfall in the west of India. The mechanism of those associations is found through a lower-level Rossby wave train as a result of anomalous sensible heating over the Tibetan Plateau. The decreased late spring sensible heat flux has also been associated with dry weather in the Yangtze River basin through a descending motion to the east of the Tibetan Plateau. This dissertation is the first synthesized analysis of the surface radiation and energy budgets at a spatial scale covering the entire Tibetan Plateau over a temporal period of two decades. The results of this study could contribute to a better understanding of the land-atmosphere interactions over the Tibetan Plateau, and the role of the Tibetan Plateau sensible heating in regulating the strength of the Asian summer monsoon. This study demonstrates a linkage between the spring sensible heat over the Tibetan Plateau and the Asian summer monsoon rainfall that affect about one fourth of the world's population, which has implications that will benefit local agriculture practices, disaster management, and climate change mitigation.