Impact of changes in GRACE derived terrestrial water storage on vegetation growth in Eurasia

G. A, I. Velicogna, J. S. Kimball, Y. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


We use GRACE-derived terrestrial water storage (TWS) and ERA-interim air temperature, as proxy for available water and temperature constraints on vegetation productivity, inferred from MODIS satellite normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), in Northern Eurasia during 2002-2011. We investigate how changes in TWS affect the correlation between NDVI and temperature during the non-frozen season. We find that vegetation growth exhibits significant spatial and temporal variability associated with varying trend in TWS and temperature. The largest NDVI gains occur over boreal forests associated with warming and wetting. The largest NDVI losses occur over grasslands in the Southwestern Ob associated with regional drying and cooling, with dominant constraint from TWS. Over grasslands and temperate forests in the Southeast Ob and South Yenisei, wetting and cooling lead to a dominant temperature constraint due to the relaxation of TWS constraints. Overall, we find significant monthly correlation of NDVI with TWS and temperature over 35% and 50% of the domain, respectively. These results indicate that water availability (TWS) plays a major role in modulating Eurasia vegetation response to temperature changes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124024
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 29 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • ecosystem
  • satellite remote sensing
  • terrestrial water storage
  • water cycle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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