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Synchronous NDVI and Surface Air Temperature Trends in Newfoundland: 1982 to 2003The northern regions of the earth are currently experiencing rapid change in temperature and precipitation. This region contains -40% of carbon stored in the world's soil which has accumulated from the last ice age (over 10,000 years ago). The carbon has remained to this point due to reduced decomposition from the short growing seasons and subfreezing temperatures. The influence of climate upon plant growth can have significant consequences to the carbon cycle balance in this region and could potentially alter and release this long term store of carbon to the atmosphere, resulting in a negative feedback enhancing climate warming. These changes have the potential to alter ecosystems processes, which impact human well being. This paper investigated a global satellite record of increases in vegetation growth from 1982 to 2003 developed at GSFC. It was found that, Newfoundland's vegetation growth during the 1990s exceeded global measurements. A number of potential causes were investigated to understand the mechanistic environmental drivers that could alter the productivity of this ecosystem. Possible drivers of change included: human influence of land use change on vegetation cover; changes in precipitation; temperature; cloud cover; snow cover; and growing season length. We found that humans had a minimal influence on vegetation growth in Newfoundland. Less than 6% of the island was logged during the investigation. We found a strong correlation of vegetation growth to a lengthening of the growing season of -9 and -17 days from 1982-1990 and 1991-1999. A distinct drop in plant growth and air temperature was found in 1990 to 1991 from the volcanic eruption of Mt. Pinatubo that reduced global surface air temperatures. These results document the influences of air temperature upon northern forest plant growth and the cooling effects of major volcanic eruptions in this ecological system.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Neigh, C. S. R.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Tucker, C. J.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Townshend, J. R. G.
(Maryland Univ. College Park, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2007
Publication Information
Publication: International Journal of Remote Sensing
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Volume: 28
Issue: 11
Subject Category
Meteorology And Climatology
Funding Number(s)
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