Potter, C, Boriah, S, Steinbach, M, Kumar, V, Klooster, S (2008). Terrestrial vegetation dynamics and global climate controls. CLIMATE DYNAMICS, 31(1), 67-78.
Monthly data from the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) and its predecessor satellite sensors was used to reconstruct vegetation dynamics in response to climate patterns over the period 1983-2005. Results suggest that plant growth over extensive land areas of southern Africa and Central Asia were the most closely coupled of any major land area to E1 Nino-southern oscillation (ENSO) effects on regional climate. Others land areas strongly tied to recent ENSO climate effects were in northern Canada, Alaska, western US, northern Mexico, northern Argentina, and Australia. Localized variations in precipitation were the most common controllers of monthly values for the fraction absorbed of photosynthetically active radiation (FPAR) over these regions. In addition to the areas cited above, seasonal FPAR values from MODIS were closely coupled to rainfall patterns in grassland and cropland areas of the northern and central US. Historical associations between global vegetation FPAR and atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) anomalies suggest that the terrestrial biosphere can contribute major fluxes of CO2 during major drought events, such as those triggered by 1997-1998 E1 Nino event.