Measuring and Modeling Global Vegetation Growth: 1982-2009
Mao, J., Shi, X., Thornton, P.E., Hoffman, F.M., Zhu, Z. and Myneni, R.B. 2013. Global latitudinal-asymmetric vegetation growth trends and their driving mechanisms: 1982-2009. Remote Sensing 5: 1484-1497.
In discussing their findings Mao et al. report that "both the remote-sensing product and CLM4 offline simulations demonstrate significant increasing trends of annual vegetation growth during the last three decades." And they say their factorial experiments indicate that "CO2 fertilization was more important than climate variation in determining the magnitude of the temporal trend in LAI at the global scale, in each hemisphere, and for most of the modeled plant functional types over their study period, in agreement with a previous study using an independently developed model (Piao et al., 2006)."
The CO2 fertilization effect of the carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere by mankind's burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, gas and oil, is beginning to assume its vaulted position of being a tremendous boon to the biosphere, as all of humanity and the entirety of the world's animal life depend ultimately upon having a sufficient supply of plant life to sustain themselves.
Piao, S., Friedlingstein, P., Cias, P., Zhou, L. and Chen, A. 2006. Effect of climate and CO2 changes on the greening of the Northern Hemisphere over the past two decades. Geophysical Research Letters 33: 10.1029/2006GL028205.
Zhu, Z., Bi, J., Pan, Y., Ganguly S., Samanta, A., Xu, L., Anav, A., Piao, S., Nemani, R.R. and Myneni, R.B. 2013. Global data sets of vegetation leaf area index (LAI)3g and Fraction of Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FPAR)3g derived from Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies (GIMMS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI3g) for the period 1981 to 2011. Remote Sensing 5: 927-948.