Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Warmer Arctic Linked to Weaker Vegetation Growth in North America

1a–c, Regression coefficients of the spring (March–May) NDVI for the period 1982–2013 (a), flux tower data-driven GPP for the period 1982–2011 (b) and MME (Credit: Click to Enlarge.
To the vexation of school children and elation for their parents, residents living along the I-95 corridor of the northeastern United States know that El Niño in the Pacific will result in a dryer, warmer, and less snowy winter throughout the Appalachian, as certain as the adage 'April showers bring May flowers.'  Such meteorological patterns where interannual variability in ocean temperatures affects climate have been long established in the field.

Global warming caused by anthropogenic forcings and natural feedback processes have likewise affected climates and ecosystems throughout the world.  For example, scientists have shown a connection between the rapid warming of the Arctic region to the increase in terrestrial gross primary productivity (vegetation growth) in high latitudes.  Paradoxically, however, areas along the mid latitude have experienced anomalous climates, ranging from harsh and cold winters throughout the northern North America and severe droughts in its southern states.

Research conducted by Jin-Soo Kim and Professor Jong-Seong Kug from the Division of Environmental Science and Engineering at Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), in collaboration with Professor Su-Jong Jeong from the School of Environmental Science and Engineering at South University of Science and Technology of China, has shown that the warmer Arctic has triggered cooler winters and springs in North America, which has in turn weakened vegetation growth and lowered carbon uptake capacity in its ecosystems.  This achievement has been published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Read more at Warmer Arctic Linked to Weaker Vegetation Growth in North America

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