CENPERM seminar – University of Copenhagen

CENPERM seminar

Spatiotemporal variations in surface temperatures and vegetation phenology in Greenland

Mojtaba Karami, PhD student, CENPERM.

The term “phenology” refers to the timing of recurring biological phases such as dormancy, active growth, and senescence. In the context of terrestrial vegetation, these seasonal transitions usually have implications for different ecosystem processes, ranging from exchanges of energy and carbon with the atmosphere, to surface hydrology. The arctic tundra ecosystems are mostly warmth-limited and can therefore respond to climatic warming in a relatively short time scale. But the magnitude and even direction of these changes are shown to vary from place to place. By combining vegetation indices and thermal data from medium-resolution imaging satellites, reanalysis datasets, and microwave-derived sea ice concentrations, we have examined the spatial and temporal variability of vegetation phenology along latitudes and altitudes in Greenland. We have tried to identify the drivers of the observed patterns at local to regional scales. Our results indicate significant differences between West and East Greenland, in terms of both observed phenology and climatic response.

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