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Changing patterns of global‐scale vegetation photosynthesis, 1982–1999

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The primary objective of this research was to assess changes in global vegetation photosynthesis between 1982 and 1999. Global‐scale Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data from the Pathfinder AVHRR Land (PAL) and Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies (GIMMS) datasets were analysed for 96% of the non‐Antarctic land area of the Earth. The results showed that between 1982 and 1999 over 30% of the Earth's land surface increased and less than 5% decreased in annual average photosynthesis greater than 4%. Although both the PAL and GIMMS datasets produced broadly similar patterns of change, there were distinct differences between the two datasets. Changes in vegetation photosynthesis were occurring in spatial clusters across the globe and were being driven by climate change, El NiƱo–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events and human activity.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, Salem State College, 352 Lafayette Street, Salem, MA 01970, USA 2: Department of Geography, University College London, 26 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AP, UK

Publication date: October 20, 2005

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