Abstract: Background, aim, and scope As one of the most important geological events in Cenozoic era, the uplift of Tibetan Plateau had profound influences on the Asian and global climate evolution. The southwestern China is close to Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the uplift of the Plateau has great impact on its climate. But so far, there are still a lot of issues that need to be investigated further. Materials and methods To study the influence of Tibetan Plateau uplift on Asian monsoon environment, and to summarize the correlation between different forms of tectonic uplifts and Asian monsoon, and especially to analyze the influence of Tibetan Plateau uplift on the climate evolution in southwestern China, we reviewed most of the relevant literatures in the past decades. Results The results showed that: (1) The formation of East Asian monsoon, South Asian monsoon and plateau monsoon, which control the climate evolution in southwestern China, is closely related to the uplift of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. (2) The three Asian monsoon subsystems have great impact on the climate evolution in southwestern China. Discussion (1) Although the East Asian summer monsoon formed at about 22 Ma due to sea and land differences, the winter monsoon formed at 7.2 Ma due to Qinghai-Tibet Plateau uplift. Moreover, the South Asian summer monsoon formed at about 12 Ma due to the uplifts of the Himalayas and adjacent mountains, and its winter monsoon formed at the same time of East Asian winter monsoon. Remarkable facts are that the formation of plateau monsoon is directly due to plateau uplift. (2) The uplift of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau has enhanced the land-sea difference, and its heat source effect expand the influence of East Asian summer monsoon and bring water vapor to southwestern China. The South Asian winter monsoon makes the southwestern region relatively cold and dry, and the summer monsoon further strengthened due to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau uplift, which has made the climate become more warm and humid by forming north-south water vapor channel. As for the winter and summer plateau monsoons, the plateau uplift has made the difference between seasonal dry-cold and humid climates in southwestern China even more significant. Conclusions The uplift of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau has great impact on the climate evolution in southwestern China by affecting Asian monsoon in this region. Recommendations and perspectives The explanation of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau uplift’s impact on the climate evolution in southwestern China remains controversial. Thus, it is necessary to provide more accurate data for further verification.
Keywords: Qinghai-Tibet Plateau; tectonic uplift; Asian monsoon; climate evolution; southwestern China