GEOCLIM: A global climatology of LAI, FAPAR, and FCOVER from VEGETATION observations for 1999-2010

Verger A., Baret F., Weiss M., Filella I., Penuelas J. (2015) GEOCLIM: A global climatology of LAI, FAPAR, and FCOVER from VEGETATION observations for 1999-2010. Remote Sensing of Environment. 166: 126-137.
Doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2015.05.027


Land-surface modelling would benefit significantly from improved characterisation of the seasonal variability of vegetation at a global scale. GEOCLIM, a global climatology of leaf area index (LAI), fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (FAPAR)-both essential climate variables-and fraction of vegetation cover (FCOVER), is here derived from observations from the SPOT VEGETATION programme. Interannual average values from the GEOV1 Copernicus Global Land time series of biophysical products at 1-km resolution and 10-day frequency are computed for 1999 to 2010. GEOCLIM provides the baseline characteristics of the seasonal cycle of the annual vegetation phenology for each 1-km. pixel on the globe. The associated standard deviation characterises the interannual variability. Temporal consistency and continuity is achieved by the accumulation of multi-year observations and the application of techniques for temporal smoothing and gap filling. Specific corrections are applied over cloudy tropical regions and high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere where the low number of available observations compromises the reliability of estimates. Artefacts over evergreen broadleaf forests and areas of bare soil are corrected based on the expected limited seasonality. The GEOCLIM data set is demonstrated to be consistent, both spatially and temporally. GEOCLIM shows absolute differences lower than 0.5 compared with MODIS (GIMMS3g) climatology of LAI for more than 80% (90%) of land pixels, with higher discrepancies in tropical and boreal latitudes. ECOCLIMAP systematically produces higher LAI values. The phenological metric for the date of maximum foliar development derived from GEOCLIM is spatially consistent (correlation higher than 0.9) with those of MODIS, GIMMS3g, ECOCLIMAP and MCD12Q2 with average differences within 14. days at the global scale. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

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