Second Micrometeorology-Ecology Experiment in Tibet


From 05/2010 to 08/2010

Staff: Thomas Foken, Tobias Biermann, Thomas Leipold, Wolfgang Babel

From May till August, two scientist form the Department of Micrometeorology took part in a interdisciplinary experiment on the Tibetan Plateau in the framework of the DFG Program SPP 1372 (TiP) and the EU Program CEOP-AEGIS. The aim of this third fieldtrip of the department  to the Tibetan Plateau since 2009, was the investigation of energy and matter exchange above Kobresia pygmaea meadows with different grazing intensities. The experiment is part of the Atmosphere-Ecology-Glacier Cluster within TiP, with collaborating scientist from the Departments of Micrometeorology and AgroEcoSystem Research at the University of Bayreuth, from University of Marburg and Göttingen, the Institute of Soil Science University of Hanover, Senckenberg Museum of Natural History Görlitz and the University of Cambridge (GB). The partner in China is the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research (ITP) form the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS).

The research area is located 350 km Northeast of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, 4400 m a.s.l. in the center of the main distribution of Kobressia Pygmea. Main objective of the experiment which investigated the energy and matter exchange between the ecosystem and the atmosphere, CO2 fluxes and water exchange in soil and plants as well as plant distribution and growth, was to quantify the effect of increasing grazing on the Plateau. Another objective was to investigate if changes in Monsoon intensity effect evaporation and vegetation.

Therefore two Eddy Covariance (EC) systems, soil chambers and also 13C labeling was used to quantify CO2 fluxes. The EC systems were also used to investigate the latent- and sensible heat flux, additionally the radiation and ground heat flux was recorded to estimate the energy balance. The evaporation was estimated with Lysimeters and the EC systems. A weather station was used to record basic meteorological parameters.


Tibet_Kema_Gruppenbild Beginn des Experimentes in Kema (Tibet) Tibet_Kema_yak

From left to right: The Scientists in Kema, Thomas Leipold during the instalation of a EC system, Fieldsite with Yaks and the research station in the background

last modified 2010-10-15