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Remote Sens. 2019, 11(8), 900;

An Analysis of Land Surface Temperature Trends in the Central Himalayan Region Based on MODIS Products

Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China
Kathmandu Center for Research and Education, Chinese Academy of Sciences-Tribhuvan University, Beijing 100101, China
College of Earth Sciences, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 March 2019 / Revised: 5 April 2019 / Accepted: 11 April 2019 / Published: 13 April 2019
PDF [7127 KB, uploaded 13 April 2019]


The scientific community has widely reported the impacts of climate change on the Central Himalaya. To qualify and quantify these effects, long-term land surface temperature observations in both the daytime and nighttime, acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer from 2000 to 2017, were used in this study to investigate the spatiotemporal variations and their changing mechanism. Two periodic parameters, the mean annual surface temperature (MAST) and the annual maximum temperature (MAXT), were derived based on an annual temperature cycle model to reduce the influences from the cloud cover and were used to analyze their trend during the period. The general thermal environment represented by the average MAST indicated a significant spatial distribution pattern along with the elevation gradient. Behind the clear differences in the daytime and nighttime temperatures at different physiographical regions, the trend test conducted with the Mann-Kendall (MK) method showed that most of the areas with significant changes showed an increasing trend, and the nighttime temperatures exhibited a more significant increasing trend than the daytime temperatures, for both the MAST and MAXT, according to the changing areas. The nighttime changing areas were more widely distributed (more than 28%) than the daytime changing areas (around 10%). The average change rates of the MAST and MAXT in the daytime are 0.102 °C/yr and 0.190 °C/yr, and they are generally faster than those in the nighttime (0.048 °C/yr and 0.091 °C/yr, respectively). The driving force analysis suggested that urban expansion, shifts in the courses of lowland rivers, and the retreat of both the snow and glacier cover presented strong effects on the local thermal environment, in addition to the climatic warming effect. Moreover, the strong topographic gradient greatly influenced the change rate and evidenced a significant elevation-dependent warming effect, especially for the nighttime LST. Generally, this study suggested that the nighttime temperature was more sensitive to climate change than the daytime temperature, and this general warming trend clearly observed in the central Himalayan region could have important influences on local geophysical, hydrological, and ecological processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: Land surface temperature; annual temperature cycle; trend analysis; Terra MODIS; climate change Land surface temperature; annual temperature cycle; trend analysis; Terra MODIS; climate change

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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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Zhao, W.; He, J.; Wu, Y.; Xiong, D.; Wen, F.; Li, A. An Analysis of Land Surface Temperature Trends in the Central Himalayan Region Based on MODIS Products. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 900.

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