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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(3), 2926-2941; doi:10.3390/rs70302926

Human-Induced Landcover Changes Drive a Diminution of Land Surface Albedo in the Loess Plateau (China)

1
Satellite Environmental Center, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Beijing 100094, China
2
Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
3
Center for Spatial Analysis, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Richard Gloaguen and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 2 November 2014 / Revised: 17 February 2015 / Accepted: 3 March 2015 / Published: 12 March 2015
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Abstract

A large decrease in the land surface albedo of the Loess Plateau was observed from 2000 to 2010, as measured using satellite imagery. In particular, ecological restoration program regions experienced a decrease in peak season land surface albedo exceeding 0.05. In this study, we examined the spatial and temporal patterns of variation during the peak season albedo in the Loess Plateau and analyzed its relationships with changes of anthropogenic and natural factors at the pixel level. Our analysis revealed that increasing grassland coverage due to returning rangeland to grassland could lead to a maximum albedo decrease of 0.030 in peak season. This result highlighted the human-induced land use change in driving the decreasing albedo on an annual scale. There was no significant correlation between precipitation change and albedo reduction. Precipitation could influence the spatial pattern of albedo in drought years by influencing the natural vegetation water requirement. However, the role of precipitation was not obvious in the ecological restoration program regions. This article demonstrates the substantial role that land use change could play in regional-scale albedo change and climate. Finally, some implications for the radiative forcing of land use change are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: land surface albedo; land use change; precipitation; returning cropland to forest/grassland; retuning rangeland to grassland; MODIS; TRMM land surface albedo; land use change; precipitation; returning cropland to forest/grassland; retuning rangeland to grassland; MODIS; TRMM
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhai, J.; Liu, R.; Liu, J.; Huang, L.; Qin, Y. Human-Induced Landcover Changes Drive a Diminution of Land Surface Albedo in the Loess Plateau (China). Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 2926-2941.

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