Co-variability of the summer NDVIs on the eastern Tibetan Plateau and in the Lake Baikal region: Associated climate factors and atmospheric circulation

Kejun He, Ge Liu, Junfang Zhao, Jingxin Li, Broxton W. Bird
2020 PLoS ONE  
The Tibetan Plateau and Siberia are both crucial regions in which the vegetation dynamics are sensitive to climate change. The variabilities in the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) over the two regions have been explored previously, but there have been few studies on the relationship of the NDVI in the two regions. Using the GIMMS-NDVI, GHCN-CAMS and NCEP reanalysis datasets and statistical and physical diagnostic methods, we show that the summer (June, July and August) NDVI over
more » ... e eastern Tibetan Plateau and Lake Baikal and its adjacent eastern region of Siberia have an in-phase co-variability, especially on an interannual timescale (with a correlation coefficient of 0.69 during the time period 1982-2014). Further analyses show that precipitation and the related cloud cover and solar radiation are responsible for the variability in the NDVI over the eastern Tibetan Plateau, whereas temperature has the more important role in modulating the variability in the NDVI over the Lake Baikal region. A dipole pattern prevails over the Tibetan Plateau-Lake Baikal region and reflects the anomalies in the intensity and location of the South Asian high and the northeast Asian blocking high. This dipole pattern simultaneously modulates precipitation over the eastern Tibetan Plateau and the temperature over the Lake Baikal region and leads to the co-variability of the NDVI between the two regions. A synergistic sea surface temperature index, which reflects sea surface temperature anomalies in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, the northwest Pacific Ocean, the northern Indian Ocean and the subtropical north Atlantic Ocean, appears to adjust this Tibetan Plateau-Lake Baikal dipole pattern and is therefore closely related to the co-variability of the NDVI between the eastern Tibetan Plateau and the Lake Baikal region. Our results suggest that vegetation dynamics may not be only a local phenomenon in some areas, but are also likely to remotely link with variations in vegetation over other regions.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0239465 pmid:33112880 fatcat:53knffamene7lgulhyluk24swq