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Volume 27 (2) - 2004


Mountain building and climate: mechanisms and timing

Pages 139-149


Mountains affect climate in several ways. At a local scale, passive effects include simple elevation and rain shadow effects. On a broader scale and over a longer period, more substantial effects result from different mechanisms. In the past few million years, world wide uplift of mountains in the Neotectonic Period has actively forced climatic change. The uplift of the Tibet Plateau and its bordering mountains had global effects, through effects on the Asian monsoon, jet streams, and interhemispheric exchange. The hypothesis of the negative greenhouse effect is not supported by the dating of climatic change, or relationship between carbon dioxide, weathering and erosion. Antarctica has been long isolated by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and does not share the same tectonic and climatic history as the rest of the world.

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