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A 30-year series of global monthly Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) imagery derived from the Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies (GIMMS) NDVI3g archive was analyzed for the presence of trends in changing seasonality. Using the Seasonal Trend Analysis (STA) procedure, over half (56.30%) of land surfaces were found to exhibit significant trends. Almost half (46.10%) of the significant trends belonged to three classes of seasonal trends (or changes). Class 1 consisted of areas that experienced a uniform increase in NDVI throughout the year, and was primarily associated with forested areas, particularly broadleaf forests. Class 2 consisted of areas experiencing an increase in the amplitude of the annual seasonal signal whereby increases in NDVI in the green season were balanced by decreases in the brown season. These areas were found primarily in grassland and shrubland regions. Class 3 was found primarily in the Taiga and Tundra biomes and exhibited increases in the annual summer peak in NDVI. While no single attribution of cause could be determined for each of these classes, it was evident that they are primarily found in natural areas (as opposed to anthropogenic land cover conversions) and that they are consistent with climate-related ameliorations of growing conditions during the study period.


This article originally appeared in remote sensing, available at doi:10.3390/rs5104799.

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0)



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