Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

Recent trends in changes of vegetation over East Asia coupled with temperature and rainfall variations

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Abstract

[1] In this study, we investigated whether long-term normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data show climate change signals after the mid-1990s which are inferred from other studies on changing trends in precipitation and dust frequencies. In doing so, mean NDVI data for the growing seasons (April–October) from 1982 to 2006 were used for examining the spatiotemporal variations in the vegetation over East Asia, in conjunction with precipitation and temperature data. Results indicate that there was a prominent change in the trend of NDVI around the mid-1990s: a pronounced positive trend over most of the East Asian domain before the mid-1990s (1982–1996) and a reverse (or weakened) trend after the mid-1990s (1997–2006). The reverse trend is evident over the higher-latitude regions north of 50°N and the eastern Mongolian border area. The EOF and SVD analysis suggest that the dominant warming trend until the mid-1990s led to the increased NDVI over the high-latitude regions. However, after the mid-1990s, the reverse NDVI trend found primarily in the east of Lake Baikal and the arid and semiarid regions south of 50°N seems to be closely linked to local precipitation changes occurred abruptly in the mid-1990s. However, precipitation influences on the reverse NDVI changes are not clear over the high-latitude regions north of 50°N.

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