Meteorological Drought Monitoring and Its Impact On Vegetation Over Northern China

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Anzhi Zhang, Institute of Atmospheric Physics,Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China and Gensuo Jia, CAS Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijng, China
Drought is among the most common and the costliest natural disaster, and has adversely affected water resources, agricultural production, and welfare of people especially in semi-arid regions, where precipitation limitation is already at high risk. Accurate monitoring of regional meteorological drought and its impact on vegetation is essential for practical purpose; meanwhile, it is an important scientific issue of climate change and regional responses. To date, studies have been mainly based on investigating meteorological drought and its impact using meteorological data, but the usage of satellite data is still limited. This study focused on monitoring regional drought and its impact on vegetation by using multi-sensor satellite based Microwave Integrated Drought Index (MIDI) over northern China. The MIDI can consistently and continuously monitor drought cross space and time in all weather conditions. Spatial-temporal comparisons among MIDI, climate variables (precipitation and temperature), drought indices and vegetation indices (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, NDVI) were carried out. In general, the spatial patterns of drought trend were heterogeneous, while drought intensified during summer accompanied by higher temperature and lower precipitation; nevertheless, the opposite trend was observed in spring. The vegetation (NDVI) showed similar trend and variation as MIDI. The study is expected to improve meteorological drought monitoring and impact assessment, and will provide valuable information for drought early warning and risk management of water resources and agricultural production.