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Satellite Monitoring of Vegetation Response to Precipitation and Dust Storm Outbreaks in Gobi Desert Regions

1
The Graduate School of Sciences, Chiba University, Chiba 263-8522, Japan
2
College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Sciences, Rakuno Gakuen University, Ebetsu 069-8501, Japan
3
Field Researchers Corporation Co., Ltd., Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0007, Japan
4
Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan
5
School of Geography University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 27 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arid Land Systems: Sciences and Societies)
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Abstract

Recently, droughts have become widespread in the Northern Hemisphere, including in Mongolia. The ground surface condition, particularly vegetation coverage, affects the occurrence of dust storms. The main sources of dust storms in the Asian region are the Taklimakan and Mongolian Gobi desert regions. In these regions, precipitation is one of the most important factors for growth of plants especially in arid and semi-arid land. The purpose of this study is to clarify the relationship between precipitation and vegetation cover dynamics over 29 years in the Gobi region. We compared the patterns between precipitation and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for a period of 29 years. The precipitation and vegetation datasets were examined to investigate the trends during 1985–2013. Cross correlation analysis between the precipitation and the NDVI anomalies was performed. Data analysis showed that the variations of NDVI anomalies in the east region correspond well with the precipitation anomalies during this period. However, in the southwest region of the Gobi region, the NDVI had decreased regardless of the precipitation amount, especially since 2010. This result showed that vegetation in this region was more degraded than in the other areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: vegetation response to precipitation; dust storm outbreak; cross correlation analysis; the Hovmoller diagram; environmental regime shift; Gobi desert of Mongolia vegetation response to precipitation; dust storm outbreak; cross correlation analysis; the Hovmoller diagram; environmental regime shift; Gobi desert of Mongolia
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Sofue, Y.; Hoshino, B.; Demura, Y.; Kai, K.; Baba, K.; Nduati, E.; Kondoh, A.; Sternberg, T. Satellite Monitoring of Vegetation Response to Precipitation and Dust Storm Outbreaks in Gobi Desert Regions. Land 2018, 7, 19.

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