A joint research program conducted by Chinese and Belgian scientists has shown that climatic evolution was a major factor influencing the land cover in northwest China in the past decades.
The result of the program, entitled “The investigation and design of a dynamic monitoring system for land-cover changes by remote sensing,” was announced here Tuesday by United Remote Sensing Center in Northwest China and Belgium’s Flemish Institute for Technological Research and University of Louvain.
China’s Ministry of Science and Technology added the program tothe state high technology research and development project and invested seven million yuan (843,000 U.S. dollars). The remainder of the funds, 15 million Belgian francs (338,000 U.S. dollars), was from the Belgian government.
After three years of research, the experts confirmed that the annual mean temperature during the 1970s, 80s and 90s was higher than during the 1940s, 50s and 60s.
These climate changes could be one of the driving forces responsible for vegetation and land cover changes during that period, the experts said.
The Belgian institute and university helped collect statistical information and establish a dynamic monitoring system for land-cover changes.