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Vegetation Greenness in Northeastern Brazil and Its Relation to ENSO Warm Events

Institute of Geography, Georg-August-Universitat Gottingen, Goldschmidtstr. 5, Gottingen D-37077, Germany
Institute for Environment and Sustainability, European Commission Joint Research Centre, Via Fermi 2749, Ispra (VA) I-21027, Italy
Interdisciplinary Environmental Research Centre, Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg, Brennhausgasse 14, Freiberg D-09599, Germany
Universidade Federal de Campina Grande, PB 58429-900, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2014, 6(4), 3041-3058;
Received: 25 February 2014 / Revised: 26 March 2014 / Accepted: 31 March 2014 / Published: 3 April 2014
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The spatio-temporal variability of trends in vegetation greenness in dryland areas is a well-documented phenomenon in remote sensing studies at global to regional scales. The underlying causes differ, however, and are often not well understood. Here, we analyzed the trends in vegetation greenness for a semi-arid area in northeastern Brazil (NEB) and examined the relationships between those dynamics and climate anomalies, namely the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) for the period 1982 to 2010, based on annual Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) values from the latest version of the Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies (GIMMS) NDVI dataset (NDVI3g) dataset. Against the ample assumption of ecological and socio-economic research, the results of our inter-annual trend analysis of NDVI and precipitation indicate large areas of significant greening in the observation period. The spatial extent and strength of greening is a function of the prevalent land-cover type or biome in the study area. The regression analysis of ENSO indicators and NDVI anomalies reveals a close relation of ENSO warm events and periods of reduced vegetation greenness, with a temporal lag of 12 months. The spatial patterns of this relation vary in space and time. Thus, not every ENSO warm event is reflected in negative NDVI anomalies. Xeric shrublands (Caatinga) are more sensitive to ENSO teleconnections than other biomes in the study area. View Full-Text
Keywords: NDVI3g; GIMMS; AVHRR; El Nino; inter-annual trends; teleconnections NDVI3g; GIMMS; AVHRR; El Nino; inter-annual trends; teleconnections
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Erasmi, S.; Schucknecht, A.; Barbosa, M.P.; Matschullat, J. Vegetation Greenness in Northeastern Brazil and Its Relation to ENSO Warm Events. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 3041-3058.

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