The Indian subcontinent is at the same latitude as the Sahara desert, and if not for the Tibetan Plateau reversing the Haileys cell, would have the same enviornment. The plateau causes rain in the north, and the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal to the south push moisture into the southern peninsula. But still, with global warming, the threat of wet bulb temperatures is increasing and the heat may prove unsustainable for the most populated region in the world. Here is a temperature map - enter image description here

It is clear that there is a massive and sudden temp change from 0 or even -10 degrees C to 25 or 30 degrees C in India. That is at the minimum a temp difference of 25 C or at the maximum 40 C. If the plateau could be terraformed to allow the cold winds of the north to move south like a ramp (hot are rises, cold air falls) it could cool the subcontinent, and lead to more rainfall (idk maybe). It may even pull in the freezing air of the Siberian anticyclone for further cooling. It may also raise temp of Mongolia for better living conditions. Also the convection belt that forms might have high wind speeds for wind power making it a powerhouse for renewables. The last thing of the top of my head is that the arctic would cool faster? Russia might not be coldest place in world anymore. Arctic shipping lane opens up which is big for china and its export economy. Also tibet would be much more habitable opening up much more land? Win win win for China India Russia Mongolia? Myanmar might be better as a test run due to the mountains flanking the Central Valley acting as a better channel. But that's geopolitical and I digress. With that out of the way, my main questions are.

Is it theoretically possible? What would it look like? Temperatures in India would fall by how much? Is it economical in the super long term? Impact on globe net positive or negative? Runaway global warming leads to planet heat death? Completely unrelated, how does the rain thing work lol its so confusing what causes rain in certain areas and not others lol...?

Thank you for reading this long ass post (-:


1 Answer 1


I think your premise answers also your question

if not for the Tibetan Plateau reversing the Haileys cell, would have the same enviornment.

If you allow free atmospheric circulation over Tibet, you are basically removing the reversing, meaning you are turning India into a region similar to Sahara.

I don't think Sahara is known for its pleasant temperatures.

  • $\begingroup$ I disagree because we are not removing the plateau. $\endgroup$
    – Curiosity
    Aug 5, 2021 at 12:44
  • $\begingroup$ we are simply terraforming it into a ramp as stated above. the point is to get the table of very cold air above and the warm air below to swap places. Anyway you can do this ramp or not is the premise of the question. getting rid of the plateau gets rid of the cold air. Also I may have been wrong about the Sahara thing. Central Asia and iran along with southern china don't have the wall that is the Tibetan Plateau and are significantly cooler than northern India which is at the same latitude. $\endgroup$
    – Curiosity
    Aug 5, 2021 at 12:44
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    $\begingroup$ The acting item is the Himalayas not the plateau. A huge barrier. $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Aug 5, 2021 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ Which is where the terraforming might come in. The Himalayas are like the rim on a flat plate. remove the rims and the contents spill. The contents being the cold air. $\endgroup$
    – Curiosity
    Aug 5, 2021 at 15:51

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