A Spatiotemporal Analysis of Climatic Drivers for Observed Changes in Sahelian Vegetation Productivity (1982-2007)

Per Skougaard Kaspersen, Rasmus Fensholt, Silvia Huber

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Abstract

Linear trend analysis and seasonal trend analysis are performed on gridded data of vegetation, rainfall, solar radiation flux, and air temperature, in order to examine the influence of the past three decades of climate variability and change on the Sahelian vegetation dynamics. Per-pixel correlation analyses are conducted on annual and monthly data, and analyses of change in the potential climatic constraints to the natural vegetation development from 1982-2007 are performed. The results reveal two distinct periods: (a) 1982-1994 marked by large increases in vegetation productivity and rainfall and little change in average air temperatures and solar radiation and (b) 1995-2007 characterized by no distinct trends in vegetation productivity and rainfall and increase in average air temperatures and decrease in solar radiation flux. Correlations between vegetation productivity and climatic constraints were found to be statistically significant only for rainfall explaining only a moderate degree of observed NDVI variation, indicating that nonclimatic factors are also important for the Sahelian vegetation dynamics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Geophysics
Volume2011
Pages (from-to)715321
Number of pages14
ISSN1687-885X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2011 Per Skougaard Kaspersen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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