Remote sensing of environmental changes in cold regions: Methods, achievements and challenges

Jinyang Du, Jennifer D. Watts, Lingmei Jiang, Hui Lu, Xiao Cheng, Claude Duguay, Mary Farina, Yubao Qiu, Youngwook Kim, John S. Kimball, Paolo Tarolli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Cold regions, including high-latitude and high-altitude landscapes, are experiencing profound environmental changes driven by global warming. With the advance of earth observation technology, remote sensing has become increasingly important for detecting, monitoring, and understanding environmental changes over vast and remote regions. This paper provides an overview of recent achievements, challenges, and opportunities for land remote sensing of cold regions by (a) summarizing the physical principles and methods in remote sensing of selected key variables related to ice, snow, permafrost, water bodies, and vegetation; (b) highlighting recent environmental nonstationarity occurring in the Arctic, Tibetan Plateau, and Antarctica as detected from satellite observations; (c) discussing the limits of available remote sensing data and approaches for regional monitoring; and (d) exploring new opportunities from next-generation satellite missions and emerging methods for accurate, timely, and multi-scale mapping of cold regions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1952
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number16
StatePublished - 2019


  • Antarctica
  • Climate change
  • Cryosphere
  • Northern high latitudes
  • Remote sensing
  • Tibetan Plateau


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