Remote Sensing Applications and Decision Support

Climate-driven changes in grassland vegetation, snow cover, and lake water of the Qinghai Lake basin

[+] Author Affiliations
Xuelu Wang, Tiangang Liang, Xiaodong Huang, Huilong Lin

Lanzhou University, College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and Technology, State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-Ecosystems, Lanzhou 730020, China

Hongjie Xie

University of Texas at San Antonio, Department of Geological Sciences, Laboratory for Remote Sensing and Geoinformatics, San Antonio, Texas 78249, United States

J. Appl. Remote Sens. 10(3), 036017 (Aug 18, 2016). doi:10.1117/1.JRS.10.036017
History: Received November 25, 2015; Accepted July 7, 2016
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Abstract.  Qinghai Lake basin and the lake have undergone significant changes in recent decades. We examine MODIS-derived grassland vegetation and snow cover of the Qinghai Lake basin and their relations with climate parameters during 2001 to 2010. Results show: (1) temperature and precipitation of the Qinghai Lake basin increased while evaporation decreased; (2) most of the grassland areas improved due to increased temperature and growing season precipitation; (3) weak relations between snow cover and precipitation/vegetation; (4) a significantly negative correlation between lake area and temperature (r=0.9, p<0.05); and (5) a positive relation between lake level (lake-level difference) and temperature (precipitation). Compared with Namco Lake (located in the inner Tibetan Plateau) where the primary water source of lake level increases was the accelerated melt of glacier/perennial snow cover in the lake basin, for the Qinghai Lake, however, it was the increased precipitation. Increased precipitation explained the improvement of vegetation cover in the Qinghai Lake basin, while accelerated melt of glacier/perennial snow cover was responsible for the degradation of vegetation cover in Namco Lake basin. These results suggest different responses to the similar warming climate: improved (degraded) ecological condition and productive capacity of the Qinghai Lake basin (Namco Lake basin).

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© 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Xuelu Wang ; Tiangang Liang ; Hongjie Xie ; Xiaodong Huang and Huilong Lin
"Climate-driven changes in grassland vegetation, snow cover, and lake water of the Qinghai Lake basin", J. Appl. Remote Sens. 10(3), 036017 (Aug 18, 2016). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JRS.10.036017


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