Response of alpine grasslands to climate change and permafrost retreat in the Tibetan Plateau.

The Key Laboratory of Digital Earth Program, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

PI: Cuizhen (Susan) Wang; Co-PI: Li Zhang


Summary: The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the highest geomorphic units on the earth with its elevations averaging over 4000 meters above sea level. Alpine grasslands on the plateau quickly and significantly respond to global climate change. With the obvious trend of climate warming, the process of land-atmosphere interaction has experienced complex changes in this fragile ecosystem. This project analyzes the growth trends of alpine grasslands using MODIS time series images at plateau scale, combines the measurements from meteorological sites, and extracts the temporal dynamics of alpine grasslands in different climatic zones and permafrost regions. These spatially explicit data layers are important for predicting the long-term ecological evolution of alpine grasslands on the plateau.


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Wang, C., H. Guo, L. Zhang, Y. Qiu, Z. Sun, J. Liao, G. Liu, and Y. Zhang, 2015. Improved alpine grassland mapping in the Tibetan Plateau with MODIS time series: a phenology perspectiveInternational Journal of Digital Earth. 8(2), 133-152.

Wang, C., H. Guo, L. Zhang, S. Liu, Y. Qiu and Z. Sun, 2015. Assessing phenological change and climatic control of alpine grasslands in the Tibetan Plateau with MODIS time seriesInternational Journal of Biometeorology. 49 (1): 11-23.

Zhang, L., H. Guo, C. Wang, L. Ji, J. Li, K. Wang, and L. Dai, 2014. The long-term trends (1982-2006) in vegetation greenness of the alpine ecosystem in the Qinghai-Tibetan PlateauEnvironmental Earth Sciences, 72:1827-1841.