Global responses of terrestrial productivity to contemporary climatic oscillations
Woodward, F.I., Lomas, M.R. and Quaife, T. (2008) Global responses of terrestrial productivity to contemporary climatic oscillations. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 363 (1504). pp. 2779-2785. ISSN 0962-8436
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2008.0017
The terrestrial biosphere is subjected to a wide range of natural climatic oscillations. Best known is the El Niño–southern oscillation (ENSO) that exerts globally extensive impacts on crops and natural vegetation. A 50-year time series of ENSO events has been analysed to determine those geographical areas that are reliably impacted by ENSO events. Most areas are impacted by changes in precipitation; however, the Pacific Northwest is warmed by El Niño events. Vegetation gross primary production (GPP) has been simulated for these areas, and tests well against independent satellite observations of the normalized difference vegetation index. Analyses of selected geographical areas indicate that changes in GPP often lead to significant changes in ecosystem structure and dynamics. The Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) is another climatic oscillation that originates from the Pacific and exerts global impacts that are rather similar to ENSO events. However, the longer period of the PDO provided two phases in the time series with a cool phase from 1951 to 1976 and a warm phase from 1977 to 2002. It was notable that the cool phase of the PDO acted additively with cool ENSO phases to exacerbate drought in the earlier period for the southwest USA. By contrast in India, the cool phase of the PDO appears to reduce the negative impacts of warm ENSO events on crop production.