Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, CAS

Address: 16 Lincui Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, P.R. China


Phone: 010-64833041

The Dataset of "Tibetan soil carbon pool to 3 m depth (2019)" Published

Recently, Prof. WANG Tao (correspondent author), Associate Prof. DING Jinzhi (first author) and other researcheres at Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, have published an article entitled " The paleoclimatic footprint in the soil carbon stock of the Tibetan permafrost region " in Nature Communications, providing strong evidence for revealing the influence of paleoclimate on modern permafrost soil carbon distribution on the Tibetan Plateau.The research was supported by the Pan-Third Pole Environment Study for a Green Silk Road-A CAS Strategic Priority A Program.

Tibetan permafrost largely formed during the late Pleistocene glacial period and shrank in the Holocene Thermal Maximum period. Quantifying the impacts of paleoclimatic extremes on soil carbon stock can shed light on the vulnerability of permafrost carbon in the future. The research synthesizes data from 1114 sites across the Tibetan permafrost region to report that paleoclimate is more important than modern climate in shaping current permafrost carbon distribution, and its importance increases with soil depth, mainly through forming the soilʼs physiochemical properties.

According to the results from the best predictive model, Support Vector Machine, the Tibetan soil organic carbon pool to a depth of 3 m is estimated to be 36.6 PgC (95% confidence range: 34.2–38.9 PgC), taking into account climate (paleoclimate and modern climate), landform, soil geochemical properties, and topography. The comparison of the new estimate of permafrost soil carbon stock with estimates from state-of-the-art terrestrial ecosystem models suggests that, generally, the models have underestimated soil carbon stock over the Tibetan Plateau. This study provides evidence that illustrates, for the first time, the bias caused by the lack of paleoclimate information in ecosystem models.

Some of the data from this research have been produced into a scientific discovery dataset, entitled " Tibetan soil carbon pool to 3 m depth (2019) ". It contains R code and a new estimate of Tibetan soil carbon pool to 3 m depth at a 0.1° spatial resolution. It is published at the National Tibetan Plateau/Third Pole Environment Data Center (

Data available at:

Full-text available at:

Comparison of soil carbon stock simulated by 11 ecosystem models with estimates from this study.