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IARRP team assesses impact of biophysical feedback of vegetation greening on global surface temperature

By IARRP | Updated: 2023-02-01

The Innovation Team of Agricultural Remote Sensing of the Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning (IARRP) of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) has assessed the impact of vegetation greening biophysical feedback on global surface temperature based on long-term satellite remote sensing products. The relevant research results were published in "Nature Communications" under the title "Biophysical impacts of earth greening can substantially mitigate regional land surface temperature warming".

Earth has witnessed widespread vegetation greening due to direct and indirect effects of human activities. This vegetation change process can further mitigate or exacerbate the global warming trend by modifying the surface energy balance, such as enhancing shortwave radiation absorption and efficiency of water evaporation or heat convection. Currently, the impact of such biophysical feedback on land surface temperature has been well-studied in the case of vegetation type changes, while the sign and magnitude for persistent earth greening remain controversial.

Based on multiple remote sensing land surface products, the sensitivity of land surface temperature to vegetation greening in the past 20 years was estimated. The spatial and seasonal patterns of the sensitivity, as well as the contributions and driving factors of different biophysical processes were explored. Results reveal an underestimated climate mitigation effect of vegetation greening in the greening hot spot, such as China and India.

The research results improve the understanding of the biophysical feedback mechanism of global vegetation changes and provide a reference for prioritizing the geolocation of ecological projects from the biophysical perspective.

This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of the China Innovative Research Group Project.

Paper link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-023-35799-4