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

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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