Assessing satellite-based start-of-season trends in the US High Plains

X. Lin, K. G. Hubbard, R. Mahmood, G. F. Sassenrath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

To adequately assess the effects of global warming it is necessary to address trends and impacts at the local level. This study examines phenological changes in the start-of-season (SOS) derived from satellite observations from 1982-2008 in the US High Plains region. The surface climate-based SOS was also evaluated. The averaged profiles of SOS from 37° to 49°N latitude by satellite- and climate-based methods were in reasonable agreement, especially for areas where croplands were masked out and an additional frost date threshold was adopted. The statistically significant trends of satellite-based SOS show a later spring arrival ranging from 0.1 to 4.9 days decade-1 over nine Level III ecoregions. We found the croplands generally exhibited larger trends (later arrival) than the non-croplands. The area-averaged satellite-based SOS for non-croplands (i.e. mostly grasslands) showed no significant trends. We examined the trends of temperatures, precipitation, and standardized precipitation index (SPI), as well as the strength of correlation between the satellite-based SOS and these climatic drivers. Our results indicate that satellite-based SOS trends are spatially and primarily related to annual maximum normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI, mostly in summertime) and/or annual minimum NDVI (mostly in wintertime) and these trends showed the best correlation with six-month SPI over the period 1982-2008 in the US High Plains region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104016
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Volume9
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • land use
  • satellite
  • spring phenology
  • start-of-season
  • surface climate
  • trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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