Nav: Home

New perspective: Vegetation phenology variability based on tibetan plateau tree-ring data

June 20, 2017

How vegetation phenology on the Tibetan Plateau (TP), the earth's largest surface area above 4000 m ASL, responds to climate change, in particular to rising temperatures, has attracted much attention in recent years. An increase in growth activity of high-elevation vegetation on the TP may have a considerable impact on the regional carbon budget.

One widely used method for vegetation phenology is collection of satellite remote sensing data. However, divergent results from analysis of remote sensing results have been obtained regarding the rate of change in spring phenology and its relation to climatic drivers on the TP.

Furthermore, satellite remote sensing records only cover the last 30 years, thus significantly limiting the statistical confidence we can place in such methods of trend detection. A dataset that covers a much longer period is needed to resolve current disagreements.

Recently, a research group headed by Prof. YANG Bao from the Key Laboratory of Desert and Desertification, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, together with coauthors from Russia, Germany, Canada and Sweden, has reconciled these conflicting results based on a 55-year series of vegetation phenology for the TP derived from well-validated process-based Vaganov-Shashkin model (V-S) simulations of tree-ring growth data.

The results have been published in the journal PNAS in an article entitled "New Perspective on Spring Vegetation Phenology and Global Climate Change Based on Tibetan Plateau Tree-ring Data."

The researchers found that the start of the growing season (SOS) advanced on average 0.28 days/year over the period 1960-2014. The end of the growing season (EOS) was delayed an estimated 0.33 days/year during the period 1982-2014.

No significant changes in SOS or EOS were observed from 1960-1981. April-June and August-September minimum temperatures are the main climatic drivers for SOS and EOS, respectively. An increase of 1°C in the April-June minimum temperature shifted the dates of xylem phenology by 6-7 days, lengthening the period of tree-ring formation.

This approach could be extended to other forested regions of the world. Scaling up the analysis would provide additional information on phenological responses of terrestrial ecosystems to ongoing climate change across the Northern Hemisphere.

This research was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
-end-


Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters

Related Climate Change Articles:

The black forest and climate change
Silver and Douglas firs could replace Norway spruce in the long run due to their greater resistance to droughts.
For some US counties, climate change will be particularly costly
A highly granular assessment of the impacts of climate change on the US economy suggests that each 1°Celsius increase in temperature will cost 1.2 percent of the country's gross domestic product, on average.
Climate change label leads to climate science acceptance
A new Cornell University study finds that labels matter when it comes to acceptance of climate science.
Was that climate change?
A new four-step 'framework' aims to test the contribution of climate change to record-setting extreme weather events.
It's more than just climate change
Accurately modeling climate change and interactive human factors -- including inequality, consumption, and population -- is essential for the effective science-based policies and measures needed to benefit and sustain current and future generations.
Climate change scientists should think more about sex
Climate change can have a different impact on male and female fish, shellfish and other marine animals, with widespread implications for the future of marine life and the production of seafood.
Climate change prompts Alaska fish to change breeding behavior
A new University of Washington study finds that one of Alaska's most abundant freshwater fish species is altering its breeding patterns in response to climate change, which could impact the ecology of northern lakes that already acutely feel the effects of a changing climate.
Uncertainties related to climate engineering limit its use in curbing climate change
Climate engineering refers to the systematic, large-scale modification of the environment using various climate intervention techniques.
Public holds polarized views about climate change and trust in climate scientists
There are gaping divisions in Americans' views across every dimension of the climate debate, including causes and cures for climate change and trust in climate scientists and their research, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
The psychology behind climate change denial
In a new thesis in psychology, Kirsti Jylhä at Uppsala University has studied the psychology behind climate change denial.

Related Climate Change Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Crisis
There's no greater threat to humanity than climate change. What can we do to stop the worst consequences? This hour, TED speakers explore how we can save our planet and whether we can do it in time. Guests include climate activist Greta Thunberg, chemical engineer Jennifer Wilcox, research scientist Sean Davis, food innovator Bruce Friedrich, and psychologist Per Espen Stoknes.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...