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Coupling of Vegetation Growing Season Anomalies and Fire Activity with Hemispheric and Regional-Scale Climate Patterns in Central and East Siberia

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  • a *Climate and Land Surface Systems Interaction Centre, Department of Geography, University of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom
  • | + Climate and Land Surface Systems Interaction Centre, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Section for Earth Observation, Huntingdon, United Kingdom
  • | # Climate and Land Surface Systems Interaction Centre, Department of Geography, University of Swansea, Swansea, United Kingdom
  • | @ Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Global Environment Monitoring Unit, Ispra, Italy
  • | & Boreal Ecosystems Monitoring Laboratory, Space Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
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Abstract

An 18-yr time series of the fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (fAPAR) taken in by the green parts of vegetation data from the NOAA Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) instrument series was analyzed for interannual variations in the start, peak, end, and length of the season of vegetation photosynthetic activity in central and east Siberia. Variations in these indicators of seasonality can give important information on interactions between the biosphere and atmosphere. A second-order local moving window regression model called the “camelback method” was developed to determine the dates of phenological events at subcontinental scale. The algorithm was validated by comparing the estimated dates to phenological field observations. Using spatial correlations with temperature and precipitation data and climatic oscillation indices, two geographically distinct mechanisms in the system of climatic controls of the biosphere in Siberia are postulated: central Siberia is controlled by an “Arctic Oscillation–temperature mechanism,” while east Siberia is controlled by an “El Niño–precipitation mechanism.” While the analysis of data from 1982 to 1991 indicates a slight increase in the length of the growing season for some land-cover types due to an earlier beginning of the growing season, the overall trend from 1982 to 1999 is toward a slightly shorter season for some land-cover types caused by an earlier end of season. The Arctic Oscillation tended toward a more positive phase in the 1980s leading to enhanced high pressure system prevalence but toward a less positive phase in the 1990s. The results suggest that the two mechanisms also control the fire regimes in central and east Siberia. Several extreme fire years in central Siberia were associated with a highly positive Arctic Oscillation phase, while several years with high fire damage in east Siberia occurred in El Niño years. An analysis of remote sensing data of forest fire partially supports this hypothesis.

Corresponding author address: Heiko Balzter, Climate and Land Surface Systems Interaction Centre, Department of Geography, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, United Kingdom. Email: hb91@le.ac.uk

Abstract

An 18-yr time series of the fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (fAPAR) taken in by the green parts of vegetation data from the NOAA Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) instrument series was analyzed for interannual variations in the start, peak, end, and length of the season of vegetation photosynthetic activity in central and east Siberia. Variations in these indicators of seasonality can give important information on interactions between the biosphere and atmosphere. A second-order local moving window regression model called the “camelback method” was developed to determine the dates of phenological events at subcontinental scale. The algorithm was validated by comparing the estimated dates to phenological field observations. Using spatial correlations with temperature and precipitation data and climatic oscillation indices, two geographically distinct mechanisms in the system of climatic controls of the biosphere in Siberia are postulated: central Siberia is controlled by an “Arctic Oscillation–temperature mechanism,” while east Siberia is controlled by an “El Niño–precipitation mechanism.” While the analysis of data from 1982 to 1991 indicates a slight increase in the length of the growing season for some land-cover types due to an earlier beginning of the growing season, the overall trend from 1982 to 1999 is toward a slightly shorter season for some land-cover types caused by an earlier end of season. The Arctic Oscillation tended toward a more positive phase in the 1980s leading to enhanced high pressure system prevalence but toward a less positive phase in the 1990s. The results suggest that the two mechanisms also control the fire regimes in central and east Siberia. Several extreme fire years in central Siberia were associated with a highly positive Arctic Oscillation phase, while several years with high fire damage in east Siberia occurred in El Niño years. An analysis of remote sensing data of forest fire partially supports this hypothesis.

Corresponding author address: Heiko Balzter, Climate and Land Surface Systems Interaction Centre, Department of Geography, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, United Kingdom. Email: hb91@le.ac.uk

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