Title: A conceptual model for assessing rainfall and vegetation trends in Sub-Saharan Africa from satellite data
Authors: HOSCILO AgataBALZTER HeikoBARTHOLOME EtienneBOSCHETTI MircoBRIVIO Pietro AlessandroBRINK AndreasCLERICI MarcoPEKEL JEAN-FRANÇOIS
Citation: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLIMATOLOGY
Publisher: WILEY-BLACKWELL
Publication Year: 2014
JRC N°: JRC82063
ISSN: 0899-8418
URI: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/joc.4231/abstract
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC82063
DOI: 10.1002/joc.4231
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Policy makers, governments and aid agencies require operational environmental monitoring in support of evidence-based policy-making and resource deployment in crisis situations. For Africa, at sub-continental scale this is only feasible with a large network of automated meteorological stations, a large number of highly coordinated field observers or satellite remote sensing. This study provides a conceptual framework to understand satellite-derived indicators of rainfall and vegetation trends over Africa. It attributes observed vegetation changes to climatic and non-climatic drivers. A decade of annual rainfall and vegetation data over sub-Saharan Africa was analysed using satellite-based rainfall estimates (FEWSNET RFE 2.0) from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Centre and the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) obtained from the SPOT-VEGETATION sensor. Rainfall and vegetation greenness trends were analysed for 759 administrative regions of sub-Saharan Africa to identify those regions that have experienced a negative, positive or stable rainfall/vegetation trend over the period 2001-2010. The character of the relationship between the rainfall and NDVI trends were examined to identify areas subject to climatic and non-climatic changes. Regions where increasing rainfall was associated with vegetation greening were found in West Africa, Central African Republic, West Cameroon and north-eastern part of South Africa, whereas areas with evidence of climatic degradation were located in Southern Madagascar, Nigeria, Kenya and southern part of South Africa. The monitoring concept described here is implemented in the European Commission, serving the needs of both European services and African institutions.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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