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PLoS One. 2014 Jan 29;9(1):e81535. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0081535. eCollection 2014.

Recent observations of human-induced asymmetric effects on climate in very high-altitude area.

Author information

1
Institute of Natural Resources and Environmental Science, and College of Environment and Planning, Henan University, Kaifeng, China ; Henan Collaborative Innovation Center for Coordinated Developments in Central China Economic Zone, Zhengzhou, China ; United Nations University-Institute of Advanced Studies, Yokohama, Japan.
2
Institute of Natural Resources and Environmental Science, and College of Environment and Planning, Henan University, Kaifeng, China.

Abstract

Like urban heat islands (UHI), human-induced land degradation (HLD) is a phenomenon attributed to human activities, but this phenomenon occurs in non-urban areas. Although a large body of work has demonstrated that land-cover change influences local climate systems, little work has been done on separating the impact of HLD from naturally-occurring fluctuations in very high-altitude areas. We developed an innovative NDVI-difference method in order to evaluate HLD effects upon the climate system in the central Tibet Plateau. The results show that the minimum temperature increased at a significantly faster pace than the maximum temperature in the growing season at HLD meteorological stations, but this was reversed at stations with natural forces only. Further analysis revealed that abrupt changes of minimum temperature occurred five years earlier and amplitudes of these changes were 1.4 times larger than at stations with natural forces only. Therefore, our results complement other evidence that points to the fact that local effects from UHI contribute to climatic asymmetry observed between minimum and maximum temperature trends. Accordingly, we stress the need for consideration of non-urban factors from anthropogenic activities, such as human-induced land degradation, in understanding these asymmetric diurnal changes.

PMID:
24489643
PMCID:
PMC3906385
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0081535
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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