Chen, XN; Yang, YP (2020). Observed earlier start of the growing season from middle to high latitudes across the Northern Hemisphere snow-covered landmass for the period 2001-2014. ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS, 15(3), 34042.

Vegetation phenology in spring has received much attention for its importance to terrestrial ecosystem carbon exchange and climate-biosphere interactions studies. Through control on surface water and heat balance, snow cover largely impacts on spring vegetation phenology. However, under the background of global warming and rapid reduction of spring snow cover extent across the Northern Hemisphere (NH), the responses of spring vegetation phenology have not been well documented. Using two satellite-derived land cover dynamic datasets and 420 in situ vegetation phenology observations from five filed datasets, this study evaluated the accuracy of satellite-derived vegetation phenology datasets and explored the changes of start of the growing season (SOS) across the NH snow-covered landmass for the period 2001-2014. Compared with MEaSUREs VIPPHEN, the MODIS SOS maps displayed higher accuracy in capture the real SOS climatology by validating with in situ observations (R-2 = 0.67, bias = -3.99 d). Moreover, evidences from MODIS SOS maps pointed out that the SOS advanced by approximately 2.36 d in NH middle to high latitudes (43.5 degrees N-70.0 degrees N), but delayed by about 0.53 d in lower latitudes (33.0 degrees N-43.5 degrees N) from 2001 to 2014. The contrast SOS anomalies across the NH snow-covered landmass were further proved by changes in spring NDVI derived from GIMMS in the corresponding period. In addition, the observed changes in SOS were consistent with the spatiotemporal pattern of spring snow end date found in previous studies, indicating vegetation phenology changes should be taken into account in estimating the impacts of snow in climate-biosphere interactions studies.