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Climate 2018, 6(4), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli6040095

Time Series Analysis of MODIS-Derived NDVI for the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, South Africa: Impact of Recent Intense Drought

Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Zululand, KwaDlangezwa 3886, South Africa
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Received: 8 October 2018 / Revised: 7 November 2018 / Accepted: 14 November 2018 / Published: 30 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Variability and Change in the 21th Century)
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Abstract

The variability of temperature and precipitation influenced by El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is potentially one of key factors contributing to vegetation product in southern Africa. Thus, understanding large-scale ocean–atmospheric phenomena like the ENSO and Indian Ocean Dipole/Dipole Mode Index (DMI) is important. In this study, 16 years (2002–2017) of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Terra/Aqua 16-day normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), extracted and processed using JavaScript code editor in the Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform was used to analyze the vegetation response pattern of the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa, the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park (HiP) to climatic variability. The MODIS enhanced vegetation index (EVI), burned area index (BAI), and normalized difference infrared index (NDII) were also analyzed. The study used the Modern Retrospective Analysis for the Research Application (MERRA) model monthly mean soil temperature and precipitations. The Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) evapotranspiration (ET) data were used to investigate the HiP vegetation water stress. The region in the southern part of the HiP which has land cover dominated by savanna experienced the most impact of the strong El Niño. Both the HiP NDVI inter-annual Mann–Kendal trend test and sequential Mann–Kendall (SQ-MK) test indicated a significant downward trend during the El Niño years of 2003 and 2014–2015. The SQ-MK significant trend turning point which was thought to be associated with the 2014–2015 El Niño periods begun in November 2012. The wavelet coherence and coherence phase indicated a positive teleconnection/correlation between soil temperatures, precipitation, soil moisture (NDII), and ET. This was explained by a dominant in-phase relationship between the NDVI and climatic parameters especially at a period band of 8–16 months. View Full-Text
Keywords: drought; NDVI; ENSO; wavelet; time series analysis; Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park; Google Earth Engine drought; NDVI; ENSO; wavelet; time series analysis; Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park; Google Earth Engine
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Mbatha, N.; Xulu, S. Time Series Analysis of MODIS-Derived NDVI for the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, South Africa: Impact of Recent Intense Drought. Climate 2018, 6, 95.

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