Satellite‐observed vegetation responses to intraseasonal precipitation variability

Harris, Bethan L. ORCID:; Taylor, Christopher M. ORCID:; Weedon, Graham P. ORCID:; Talib, Joshua ORCID:; Dorigo, Wouter ORCID:; van der Schalie, Robin. 2022 Satellite‐observed vegetation responses to intraseasonal precipitation variability. Geophysical Research Letters, 49 (15), e2022GL099635. 11, pp.

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There is limited understanding of how vegetation responds to intraseasonal modes of rainfall variability despite their importance in many tropical regions. We use observations of precipitation and X-band Vegetation Optical Depth (VOD) from 2000 to 2018 to assess the relationships between rainfall and vegetation water content on 25–60-day timescales. Cross-spectral analysis identifies coherent intraseasonal relationships between precipitation and VOD, mostly in arid or semi-arid regions where vegetation is water-limited. Changes in VOD tend to lag anomalous rainfall, usually within 7 days. The fastest vegetation response is observed in sparsely vegetated areas (median 3 days). Following strong intraseasonal wet events, anomalously high VOD can persist for 2 months after the rainfall peak. This vegetation response can feed back onto the atmosphere, so improved representation of vegetation responses in models has the potential to improve subseasonal-to-seasonal forecasts.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Hydro-climate Risks (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0094-8276
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Ecology and Environment
Meteorology and Climatology
Date made live: 26 Aug 2022 11:15 +0 (UTC)

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