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Effects of vegetation change on regional climate in the Tibetan Plateau

Authors: Shobha Yadav*, West Virginia University, Eungul Lee, Department of Geography, Kyung Hee University
Topics: Climatology and Meteorology, Land Use and Land Cover Change
Keywords: Tibetan Plateau, Land cover change, regional climate, land-atmosphere interaction, NDVI, spring phenology
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Land surface properties plays a significant role in modulating local and regional climate through the exchange of heat, moisture, and momentum between land and atmosphere. Any changes in land surface characteristic, therefore, have impact on both radiative and nonradiative biophysical properties which in turn affect the climate system through surface energy balance. The Tibetan Plateau (TP) is the important landmass of the earth and has profound impacts on the local, regional and global climate. Therefore, it is important to understand the contributions of dynamic and thermodynamic effects of vegetation change on regional climate in the TO. In this study, we explored the vegetation dynamic over the TP from 1982 to 2015 and land-atmosphere interaction resulting from change in vegetation dynamic and its impact on the lower atmosphere. Advanced Very High-Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was used as an indicator of vegetation change spatiotemporally. The statistical methods such as linear regression, composite and correlation analysis was performed to investigate the change in energy and moisture exchange between the land and the lower atmosphere. The result indicated shifting in May vegetation trend of increasing before 1998 and decreasing after 1998. Hence, May vegetation was used to assess the change in energy and moisture fluxes from surface to lower atmosphere including surface temperature, sensible heat, latent heat, evaporation from vegetation transpiration, mean sea level pressure multi-level temperature and geopotential height. The plausible physical mechanism associated with changing vegetation dynamic and land-atmosphere interaction will be developed.

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