Global warming has suppressed shrub growth in Greenland, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, say Chinese scientists | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel

Palgon Lake in Rutog County, southwest China’s Tibet.

(Xinhua/Fan Shihui/IANS)

A study by Chinese scientists has shown that global warming has suppressed shrub growth in Greenland and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

A research group led by Liang Eryuan from the Tibetan Plateau Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and his American and British collaborators has found that global warming has reached a tipping point that affects the Arctic region and the alpine regions of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

Shrub recruitment, a key element of vegetation dynamics beyond forests, is a very sensitive indicator of climatic and environmental changes. According to a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesit can act as an indicator of the tipping point of cold biomes, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The researchers used two long-term shrub recruitment datasets of 2,770 samples from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and Greenland dating back to 1871 to identify shrub recruitment trends.

They found in Greenland and on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau that shrub recruitment reached tipping points around 1961 to 1970 and 1930 to 1940, respectively.

And according to the study, shrub recruitment has steadily declined since then.

They suggested that this decline was likely linked to warmer, drier climates on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and in Greenland.

The study found that the optimal climate for shrub recruitment has already passed in two remote and ecologically critical cold regions, providing an early warning signal of a phase shift in shrub communities.


The above article was published by a news agency with minimal changes to the title and text.

Teresa H. Sadler