The region of Chang Tang (29[degrees]55'-36[degrees]30' N, 83[degrees]55'-91[degrees]05' E) is enclosed by the Kunlun, Nyainqentanglha
, Tanggula, and Hoh Xil Mountains in the northwestern of Tibet, China.
The setting sun shines brightly on one of the highest peaks of this region, Mt Nyainqentanglha
, while the rest of the scene fades into darkness and within the hour, right next to the peak, we see the new moon which welcomes us into the Abode of the Gods.
In this study, we examined (1) the characteristic of vegetation distribution with regard to elevation and (2) vegetation coverage difference in different elevation zones in the context of climate change in the Western Nyainqentanglha Range (WNR), central Tibetan Plateau.
The western Nyainqentanglha area is located in the south-eastern centre of the Tibetan Plateau and extends in a NE-SW direction (Figure 1).
Scene selected was based on several criteria: (1) coverage centered on the Nyainqentanglha area, (2) scenes with cloud less than 5%, and (3) approximate coincidence of image acquisition dates.
Based on the limited data, the aim of this study was to investigate the characteristic of vegetation distribution with regard to elevation and response of long-term vegetation coverage to climate change in the Western Nyainqentanglha Range (WNR), central Tibetan Plateau.
The warming trend in Nyainqentanglha is consistent with the trend of global warming.
The precipitation in the growing season was significantly increased in the western Nyainqentanglha area in the last 2 decades.
Although in the near future the vegetation will increase with the suitable temperature and moist soil on western Nyainqentanglha area, the montane cold vegetation will lose its their suitable habitat with the climate warming in the long run.