Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Tibetan Plateau Related Abstracts

3 Grassland Phenology in Different Eco-Geographic Regions over the Tibetan Plateau

Authors: Jiahua Zhang, Fengmei Yao, Qing Chang


Studying on the response of vegetation phenology to climate change at different temporal and spatial scales is important for understanding and predicting future terrestrial ecosystem dynamics andthe adaptation of ecosystems to global change. In this study, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) dataset and climate data were used to analyze the dynamics of grassland phenology as well as their correlation with climatic factors in different eco-geographic regions and elevation units across the Tibetan Plateau. The results showed that during 2003–2012, the start of the grassland greening season (SOS) appeared later while the end of the growing season (EOS) appeared earlier following the plateau’s precipitation and heat gradients from southeast to northwest. The multi-year mean value of SOS showed differences between various eco-geographic regions and was significantly impacted by average elevation and regional average precipitation during spring. Regional mean differences for EOS were mainly regulated by mean temperature during autumn. Changes in trends of SOS in the central and eastern eco-geographic regions were coupled to the mean temperature during spring, advancing by about 7d/°C. However, in the two southwestern eco-geographic regions, SOS was delayed significantly due to the impact of spring precipitation. The results also showed that the SOS occurred later with increasing elevation, as expected, with a delay rate of 0.66 d/100m. For 2003–2012, SOS showed an advancing trend in low-elevation areas, but a delayed trend in high-elevation areas, while EOS was delayed in low-elevation areas, but advanced in high-elevation areas. Grassland SOS and EOS changes may be influenced by a variety of other environmental factors in each eco-geographic region.

Keywords: MODIS, elevation, grassland, phenology, eco-geographic regions, climatic factors, Tibetan Plateau

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2 Lake Water Surface Variations and Its Influencing Factors in Tibetan Plateau in Recent 10 Years

Authors: Shanlong Lu, Jiming Jin, Xiaochun Wang


The Tibetan Plateau has the largest number of inland lakes with the highest elevation on the planet. These massive and large lakes are mostly in natural state and are less affected by human activities. Their shrinking or expansion can truly reflect regional climate and environmental changes and are sensitive indicators of global climate change. However, due to the sparsely populated nature of the plateau and the poor natural conditions, it is difficult to effectively obtain the change data of the lake, which has affected people's understanding of the temporal and spatial processes of lake water changes and their influencing factors. By using the MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) MOD09Q1 surface reflectance images as basic data, this study produced the 8-day lake water surface data set of the Tibetan Plateau from 2000 to 2012 at 250 m spatial resolution, with a lake water surface extraction method of combined with lake water surface boundary buffer analyzing and lake by lake segmentation threshold determining. Then based on the dataset, the lake water surface variations and their influencing factors were analyzed, by using 4 typical natural geographical zones of Eastern Qinghai and Qilian, Southern Qinghai, Qiangtang, and Southern Tibet, and the watersheds of the top 10 lakes of Qinghai, Siling Co, Namco, Zhari NamCo, Tangra Yumco, Ngoring, UlanUla, Yamdrok Tso, Har and Gyaring as the analysis units. The accuracy analysis indicate that compared with water surface data of the 134 sample lakes extracted from the 30 m Landsat TM (Thematic Mapper ) images, the average overall accuracy of the lake water surface data set is 91.81% with average commission and omission error of 3.26% and 5.38%; the results also show strong linear (R2=0.9991) correlation with the global MODIS water mask dataset with overall accuracy of 86.30%; and the lake area difference between the Second National Lake Survey and this study is only 4.74%, respectively. This study provides reliable dataset for the lake change research of the plateau in the recent decade. The change trends and influencing factors analysis indicate that the total water surface area of lakes in the plateau showed overall increases, but only lakes with areas larger than 10 km2 had statistically significant increases. Furthermore, lakes with area larger than 100 km2 experienced an abrupt change in 2005. In addition, the annual average precipitation of Southern Tibet and Southern Qinghai experienced significant increasing and decreasing trends, and corresponding abrupt changes in 2004 and 2006, respectively. The annual average temperature of Southern Tibet and Qiangtang showed a significant increasing trend with an abrupt change in 2004. The major reason for the lake water surface variation in Eastern Qinghai and Qilian, Southern Qinghai and Southern Tibet is the changes of precipitation, and that for Qiangtang is the temperature variations.

Keywords: Remote Sensing, Tibetan Plateau, lake water surface variation, MODIS MOD09Q1

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1 Variability of the Snowline Altitude at Different Region in the Eastern Tibetan Plateau in Recent 20 Years

Authors: Chang Liu, Zhen Li, Ping Zhang


These Glaciers are thought of as natural water reservoirs and are of vital importance to hydrological models and industrial production, and glacial changes act as significant indicators of climate change. The glacier snowline can be used as an indicator of the equilibrium line, which may be a key parameter to study the effect of climate change on glaciers. Using Google Earth Engine, we select optical satellite imageries and implement the Otsu thresholding method on a near-infrared band to detect snowline altitudes (SLAs) of 26 glaciers in three regions of the eastern Tibetan Plateau. Three different study regions in the eastern Tibetan Plateau have different climate regimes, which are Sepu Kangri (SK, maritime glacier), Bu’Gyai Kangri (BK, continental glacier) and west of Qiajajima (WQ, continental glacier), along a latitudinal transect from south to north. We analyzed the effects of climatic factors on the SLA changes from 1995 to 2016. SLAs are fluctuating upward, and the rising values are 100 m, 60 m, and 34 m from south to north during the 22 years. We also observed that the climatic factor that affects the variability of SLA gradually changes from precipitation to temperature from south to north. The northern continental glaciers are mainly affected by temperature, and the southern maritime glaciers affected by precipitation. Owing to the influence of primary climatic factors, continental glaciers are found to have higher SLAs on the south slope, while maritime glaciers have higher SLAs on the north slope.

Keywords: Climate Change, Tibetan Plateau, Glacier, snowline altitude

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