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01.02.2017 | Sonderheft 1/2017 Open Access

Ambio 1/2017

Vegetation phenology gradients along the west and east coasts of Greenland from 2001 to 2015

Ambio > Sonderheft 1/2017
Mojtaba Karami, Birger Ulf Hansen, Andreas Westergaard-Nielsen, Jakob Abermann, Magnus Lund, Niels Martin Schmidt, Bo Elberling


The objective of this paper is to characterize the spatiotemporal variations of vegetation phenology along latitudinal and altitudinal gradients in Greenland, and to examine local and regional climatic drivers. Time-series from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) were analyzed to obtain various phenological metrics for the period 2001–2015. MODIS-derived land surface temperatures were corrected for the sampling biases caused by cloud cover. Results indicate significant differences between West and East Greenland, in terms of both observed phenology during the study period, as well as the climatic response. The date of the start of season (SOS) was significantly earlier (24 days), length of season longer (25 days), and time-integrated NDVI higher in West Greenland. The sea ice concentration during May was found to have a significant effect on the date of the SOS only in West Greenland, with the strongest linkage detected in mid-western parts of Greenland.

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