Interannual variability in North American grassland biomass/productivity detected by SeaWinds scatterometer backscatter

Steve Frolking, M. Fahnestock, T. Milliman, K. McDonald, J. Kimball

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We analyzed 2000-2004 growing-season Sea Winds Kuband microwave backscatter and MODIS leaf area index (LAI) data over North America. Large anomalies in mid-growing-season mean backscatter and LAI, relative to 5-year mean values, occurred primarily in the western Great Plains; backscatter and LAI anomalies had similar spatial patterns across this region. Backscatter and LAI time series data for three ∼103 km2 regions in the western Great Plains were strongly correlated (r2 ∼ 0.6-0.8), and variability in mid-growing season values was well-correlated with annual precipitation (October through September). The results indicate that Sea Winds backscatter is sensitive to interannual variability in grassland biomass/productivity, and can provide an assessment that is completely independent of optical/near-infrared remote sensing instruments.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL21409
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume32
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 16 2005

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