Assessment of climate impact on vegetation dynamics by using remote sensing

G.J. Roerink, M. Menenti, W. Soepboer, Z. Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

122 Citations (Scopus)


Climate variability has a large impact on the vegetation dynamics. To quantify this impact a study is carried out with Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) satellite images and meteorological data over part of Sahelian Africa and Europe over several years. The vegetation dynamics are quantified as the total amount of vegetation (mean NDVI) and the seasonal difference (annual NDVI amplitude) by a time series analysis of NDVI satellite images with the Harmonic ANalysis of Time Series algorithm. A climate indicator (CI) is created from meteorological data (precipitation over net radiation). The relationships between the vegetation dynamics and the Cl are determined spatially and temporally. The driest areas prove to be the most sensitive to climate impact. The spatial and temporal patterns of the mean NDVI are the same, while they are partially different for the seasonal difference. The question whether climate impact on vegetation dynamics is the same everywhere on earth in the time and space domain cannot be satisfactorily answered with these limited datasets. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-109
JournalPhysics and Chemistry of the Earth
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • avhrr data
  • ndvi
  • seasonality

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