Collaborative Research: Growth of the Tibetan Plateau and Eastern Asia Climate: Clues to Understanding the Hydrological Cycle

For fifty years, the Tibetan Plateau has been recognized as the largest topographic feature that perturbs atmospheric circulation. It serves as an ideal field laboratory for understanding the geodynamic processes that build high terrain. Accordingly, the growth of the plateau should have altered atmospheric circulation and therefore written an evolving paleoclimatic signature not only on eastern Asian regional climates, but on global climate as well. Despite many recent studies, we still do not know precisely when the Tibetan Plateau reached its current dimensions and how it perturbs atmospheric circulation. This project brings together geodynamicists, atmospheric scientists, and paleoclimatologists in a multidisciplinary study of the when and the how.