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Evidence for a weakening relationship between interannual temperature variability and northern vegetation activity

Piao, Shilong; Nan, Huijuan; Huntingford, Chris; Ciais, Philippe; Friedlingstein, Pierre; Sitch, Stephen; Peng, Shushi; Ahlstrom, Anders; Canadell, Josep G.; Cong, Nan; Levis, Sam; Levy, Peter; Liu, Lingli; Lomas, Mark; Mao, Jiafu; Myneni, Ranga B.; Peylin, Philippe; Poulter, Ben; Shi, Xiaoying; Yin, Guodong; Viovy, Nicolas; Wang, Tao; Wang, Xuhui; Zaehle, Soenke; Zeng, Ning; Zeng, Zhenzhong; Chen, Anping. 2014 Evidence for a weakening relationship between interannual temperature variability and northern vegetation activity. Nature Communications, 5, 5018. 7, pp. 10.1038/ncomms6018

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Abstract/Summary

Satellite-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), a proxy of vegetation productivity, is known to be correlated with temperature in northern ecosystems. This relationship, however, may change over time following alternations in other environmental factors. Here we show that above 30oN, the strength of the relationship between the interannual variability of growing season NDVI and temperature (partial correlation coefficient RNDVI-GT) declined substantially between 1982 and 2011. This decrease in RNDVI-GT is mainly observed in temperate and arctic ecosystems, and is also partly reproduced by process-based ecosystem model results. In the temperate ecosystem, the decrease in RNDVI-GT coincides with an increase in drought. In the arctic ecosystem, it may be related to a nonlinear response of photosynthesis to temperature, increase of hot extreme days and shrub expansion over grass-dominated tundra. Our results caution the use of results from interannual time scales to constrain the decadal response of plants to ongoing warming.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1038/ncomms6018
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biogeochemistry > BGC Topic 2 - Biogeochemistry and Climate System Processes > BGC - 2.3 - Determine land-climate feedback processes to improve climate model predictions
CEH Sections: Reynard
ISSN: 2041-1723
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
NORA Subject Terms: Hydrology
Meteorology and Climatology
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 02 Mar 2016 14:54 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/513153

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