Observed Effects of Vegetation Growth on Temperature in the Early Summer over the Northeast China Plain
AbstractThe effect of vegetation on temperature is an emerging topic in the climate science community. Existing studies have mostly examined the effects of vegetation on daytime temperature (Tmax), whereas this study investigates the effects on nighttime temperature (Tmin). Ground measurements from 53 sites across northeastern China (NEC) from 1982 to 2006 show that early summer (June) Tmax and Tmin increased at mean rates of approximately 0.61 °C/10 year and 0.67 °C/10 year, respectively. Over the same period, the satellite-based Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) decreased by approximately 0.10 (accounting for 18% of the climatological NDVI for 1982–1991). It is highlighted that a larger increase in Tmax (Tmin) co-occurred spatially with a larger (smaller) decrease in NDVI. Deriving from such spatial co-occurrences, we found that the spatial variability of changes in Tmax (i.e., ΔTmax) is negatively correlated with the spatial variability of changes in NDVI (i.e., ΔNDVI), while the spatial variability of changes in Tmin (i.e., ΔTmin) is positively correlated (r2 = 0.10; p < 0.05) with that of ΔNDVI. Similarly, we detected significant positive correlations between the spatial variability of ΔNDVI and the change in surface latent heat flux (r2 = 0.16; p < 0.01) and in surface air specific humidity (r2 = 0.28; p < 0.001). These findings on the spatial co-occurrences suggest that the vegetation growth intensifies the atmospheric water vapor through evapotranspiration, which enhances the atmospheric downward longwave radiation and strengthens the greenhouse warming effects at night. Thereby, the positive correlation between ΔNDVI and ΔTmin is better understood. These results indicate that vegetation growth may not only exert effects on daytime temperature but also exert warming effects on nighttime temperature by increasing atmospheric water vapor and thus intensifying the local greenhouse effect. This study presents new observation evidence of the effects of vegetation on local temperature. View Full-Text
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Li, X.; Zhang, X.; Zhang, L. Observed Effects of Vegetation Growth on Temperature in the Early Summer over the Northeast China Plain. Atmosphere 2017, 8, 97.
Li X, Zhang X, Zhang L. Observed Effects of Vegetation Growth on Temperature in the Early Summer over the Northeast China Plain. Atmosphere. 2017; 8(6):97.Chicago/Turabian Style
Li, Xiaxiang; Zhang, Xuezhen; Zhang, Lijuan. 2017. "Observed Effects of Vegetation Growth on Temperature in the Early Summer over the Northeast China Plain." Atmosphere 8, no. 6: 97.
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