Inter-annual variability and climate control of terrestrial net primary productivity over India



Using satellite observations of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index together with climate data from other sources in a terrestrial biosphere model, inter-annual variability of Net Primary Productivity (NPP) over India during 1981–2006 was studied. It is revealed that the variability is large over mixed shrub and grassland (MGL), moderate over cropland and small over the forest regions. Inter-annual variability of NPP exhibits strong positive coherence with the variability of precipitation, and weak coherence with the variability of temperature and solar radiation. Estimated linear growth rate of annual NPP is 0.005 Pg C Yr−2 which is equivalent to 8.5% over the country during past 25 years. This increase is primarily due to the enhancement of productivity over agricultural lands in the country. NPP has increased over most parts of the country during the early 15-year period (1981–1995) resulting in a 10% growth rate of national NPP budget. On the other hand, the NPP growth rate has been reduced to 2.5% during later 15 years period (1991–2005) owing to large decline of NPP over the Indo-Gangetic plains. Climate had a strong control on NPP growth rate during both the periods. Copyright © 2012 Royal Meteorological Society