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22 October 2010 Analysis of vegetation pasture climate response on Sahel region through 10 years of remotely sensed data
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Studies of impact of human activity on the vegetation dynamics in the Sahel belt of Africa are recently re-invigorated due to a new scientific findings that highlighted the primary role of climate in the drought crises of the 70s-80s. Time series of satellite observations allowed identifying re-greening of the Sahel belt that indicates no sensible human effect on vegetation dynamics at sub continental scale from 80s to late 90s. However, several regional/local crises related to natural resources occurred in the last decades underling that more detailed studies are needed. This study contribute to the understanding of climate/human impact on pasture vegetation status in the Sahel region in the last decade (1999- 2008). The use of a time-series of SPOT-VGT NDVI and FEWS-RFE rainfall estimates allowed to analyze vegetation and rainfall trends and identify local anomalous situation in the region. Trend analysis has been conducted to map a) areas where vegetation has been significantly decreased or increased due to rainfall pattern and b) anomalous zones where vegetation dynamics could not be fully explained by rainfall pattern by. The identified hot-spots areas have been compared with spatial information on the reported humanitarian-food crisis events in order to understand chronic situation where ecosystems carrying capacity is endangered. The results of this study show that even if a general positive re-greening situation is evident for the entire Sahel, some serious hot spots exist in areas where cropping system and pasture activity are conflicting.
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Francesco Nutini, Mirco Boschetti, Pietro A. Brivio, Etienne Bartholomé, Agata Hoscilo, Daniela Stroppiana, and Stefano Bocchi "Analysis of vegetation pasture climate response on Sahel region through 10 years of remotely sensed data", Proc. SPIE 7824, Remote Sensing for Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Hydrology XII, 782404 (22 October 2010);

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