This special section provides a picture of state-of-the-art research in snow remote sensing, algorithm development and improvement, and snow modeling and application. It includes 20 papers that cover four major topics: snow cover and snow depth/snow water equivalent (SWE) mapping using optical and passive microwave remote sensing (10 papers), algorithm developments for snow cover and glacier mapping (6 papers), snow cover and snow melt-runoff modeling (3 papers), and one review paper. Many of the papers are extended versions of materials that were presented in the first Snow Remote Sensing of China Workshop (Lanzhou, China, August 2013). The review paper “Remote sensing for snow hydrology in China: challenges and perspectives” by Wang et al. (CID 084687) provides a detailed summary of the development of snow remote sensing, snow parameters retrieving and applications in China since the 1980s. In particular, since 2007, two major large-scale field-based experiments: (1) Watershed Allied Telemetry Experimental Research (WATER) in the Heihe River Basin of Northwest China and (2) Cooperative Observation Series for Snow Properties in three major snowfall regions (Northwest China, Northeast China and the Tibetan Plateau), have been initiated and have obtained many first-hand data for algorithm development and validation of remotely sensed snow parameters retrievals. One particular application of remote sensing snow products in China is the early warning system of snow-caused livestock death (disasters) in pastoral areas. The system is a unique application and development, particularly for undeveloped high mountainous areas such as the Tibetan Plateau (TP), where mean elevations are over 4000 m and there is little or no infrastructure and industry.