Role of Tibetan Plateau

Tibetan Plateau plays the role of a heat engine. The height of the plateau lies between 4000 and 5000 m, and it covers an area of approximately 2.5 million sq. km. It is characterized by poor vegetation cover and surrounded by snow clad mountain ranges. Therefore, it gets intensely heated in summer and is around 20C to 30C warmer than the air over the nearby region.

During summer, when there is an apparent movement of sun towards tropic of cancer, temperature over Tibetan Plateau remains high for a sufficiently long duration. This causes air to ascend to the upper troposphere and create a high pressure area in the upper troposphere. Due to this, there is a creation of anti-cyclonic condition and land-ocean pressure difference. This pressure gradient, eventually, leads to movement of air mass to Indian sub-continent as equatorial easterly jet stream. After reaching Mascarene Islands, near Madagascar, it starts descending and come to Indian sub-continent as south west monsoon.

Indian Monsoon