Abstract: The Tibetan Plateau, also known as the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, is the highest plateau in the world. Not only is it a typical area and hot spot for research on global environmental changes, but also an important region in the Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative in China. Ground observation data on glaciers, snow, lakes and vegetation, which are critical and sensitive indicators of global climate change, are actually insufficient. Nine articles have been included in this special issue. These include three data sets for glacier which cover the southeastern Tibetan glacier inventory, the distribution of glacier surface movements in the mountainous areas of Muztagh Ata, and the areal changes of the Kharola Glacier in Tibet, China. There are two data sets for lake focusing on daily ice phenology of 51 large lakes in the plateau region during 2002 – 2016 and changes in the lake surface of medium-to-large plateau lakes during 2000 – 2012, as well as two data sets for snow covering automatically observed snow depths on the Tibetan Plateau during 2013 – 2016 and daily snow coverage on the Tibetan Plateau during 2002 – 2016. There are two data sets for environment, climate and vegetation which include the extreme climate index of the Tibetan Plateau during 1960 – 2012, and the region’s phenology, vegetation coverage type and biomass during 2000 – 2015.
Keywords: Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau; Snow; Ice; Environment; Preface