Journal of Applied Remote Sensing • Open AccessVariability in the ice phenology of Nam Co Lake in central Tibet from scanning multichannel microwave radiometer and special sensor microwave/imager: 1978 to 2013
We used 35 years of brightness temperature data (1978 to 2013) from the scanning multichannel microwave radiometer (SMMR) and special sensor microwave/imager (SSM/I) to analyze the freezing, ablation, and duration time of ice on Nam Co Lake and validated the results using data from the advanced microwave scanning radiometer for Earth observation system and moderate resolution image spectroradiometer. The results indicate that the SMMR and SSM/I data can be applied to monitor lake ice phenology variability for a long time and the results are reliable. Since 1978, the duration of Nam Co lake ice has decreased by 19 to 20 days, with the freezing onset date delayed by 9 days and the ablation date advanced by 9 to 10 days. Between 1978 and 2010, there was a negative correlation between temperature and the duration of lake ice in Nam Co; after 2000, the temperature increased significantly in the Nam Co Basin. This caused a clear downward trend of lake ice duration. Therefore, the freezing onset date, ablation end date, and duration of lake ice are effective indicators of regional climate change.