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TitleDetecting long-term changes to vegetation in northern Canada using the Landsat satellite image archive
AuthorFraser, R HORCID logo; Olthof, I; Carriere, M; Deschamps, A; Pouliot, D
SourceEnvironmental Research Letters vol. 6, 2011 p. 1-9, Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20110202
PublisherIOP Publishing
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceYukon; Nunavut; Newfoundland and Labrador; Manitoba
NTS14L; 14M; 24P; 25A; 38B; 38C; 48A; 48B; 48C; 48D; 54F; 54K; 117A; 117B; 117C; 117D
AreaIvvavik; Sirmilik; Wapusk; Torngat Mountains; Baffin Island
Lat/Long WENS-66.0000 -62.0000 61.0000 58.0000
Lat/Long WENS-94.0000 -92.0000 59.0000 57.0000
Lat/Long WENS-86.0000 -76.0000 74.0000 72.0000
Lat/Long WENS-141.0000 -136.0000 70.0000 68.0000
Subjectsgeophysics; Nature and Environment; vegetation; remote sensing; satellite imagery; climate, arctic; climatic fluctuations; Landsat; Climate change
Illustrationssatellite images; tables
ProgramRemote Sensing Science
Released2011 10 21
AbstractAnalysis of coarse resolution (~1 km) satellite imagery has provided evidence of vegetation changes in arctic regions since the mid-1980s that may be attributable to climate warming. Here we investigate finer-scale changes to northern vegetation over the same period using stacks of 30 m resolution Landsat TM and ETM+ satellite images. Linear trends in the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and tasseled cap indices are derived for four widely spaced national parks in northern Canada. The trends are related to predicted changes in fractional shrub and other vegetation covers using regression tree classifiers trained with plot measurements and high resolution imagery. We find a consistent pattern of greening (6.1 - 25.5% of areas increasing) and predicted increases in vascular vegetation in all four parks that is associated with positive temperature trends. Coarse resolution (3 km) NDVI trends were not detected in two of the parks that had less intense greening. A range of independent studies and observations corroborate many of the major changes observed.

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