Assessing the Impacts of the 2009/2010 Drought on Vegetation Indices, Normalized Difference Water Index, and Land Surface Temperature in Southwestern China
Advances in Meteorology
Droughts are projected to increase in severity and frequency on both regional and global scales. Despite the increasing occurrence and intensity of the 2009/2010 drought in southwestern China, the impacts of drought on vegetation in this region remain unclear. We examined the impacts of the 2009/2010 drought in southwestern China on vegetation by calculating the standardized anomalies of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), Normalized Difference Water
... ndex (NDWI), and Land Surface Temperature (LST). The standardized anomalies of NDVI, EVI, and NDWI exhibited positively skewed frequency distributions, while the standardized anomalies of LST exhibited a negatively skewed frequency distribution. These results implied that the NDVI, EVI, and NDWI declined, while LST increased in the 2009/2010 drought-stricken vegetated areas during the drought period. The responses of vegetation to the 2009/2010 drought differed substantially among biomes. Savannas, croplands, and mixed forests were more vulnerable to the 2009/2010 drought than deciduous forest and grasslands, while evergreen forest was resistant to the 2009/2010 drought in southwestern China. We concluded that the 2009/2010 drought had negative impacts on vegetation in southwestern China. The resulting assessment on the impacts of drought assists in evaluating and mitigating its adverse effects in southwestern China.