PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2014, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (7): 884-892.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2014.07.003

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TPE international program:a program for coping with major future environmental challenges of The Third Pole region

Tandong YAO()   

  1. Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Online:2014-07-25 Published:2014-07-25


The Third Pole region, centered on the Tibetan Plateau, is an important geographic unit and one of the most unique coupled geological-geographic-resource-ecological systems in the world, which exerts significant influences on the environmental changes of China, the northern atmosphere and globally. At the same time, the Third Pole region is very sensitive to the impact of global environmental change and human activities in the surrounding areas, therefore has attracted equally high attention of the scientific community as compared to the Arctic and Antarctica. In 2009, The Third Pole Environment (TPE) program was initiated with the support of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. TPE is focused on the interactions between water, ice, atmosphere, ecosystem, soil and human activities, with the aim to study the spatial and temporal characteristics of past environmental changes, interactions between cryosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and disaster processes, impact and responses of the ecosystem to environmental changes, impact of human activities on the environmental changes of the region, adaptation to the environmental changes in the region, and finally serve the societies in the region. Since the initiation of the program, with the strong support of the Science Committee and the program office, TPE has efficiently implemented scientific plans and made fruitful progresses in areas including research on the interactions between the Indian monsoon and westerlies, establishing observation platforms, data sharing and education. TPE is planning to further expand the scientific activities into broader fields of research and to the surrounding geographic regions, as well as contribute to the Future Earth international research initiative and future improvements of the environment in the region.

Key words: Third Pole Environment(TPE), Tibetan Plateau, environmental changes, ecosystem

CLC Number: 

  • X144