A study on the relationship between Atlantic sea surface temperature and Amazonian greenness

Jaeil Cho, Pat J.F. Yeh, Yang Won Lee, Hyungjun Kim, Taikan Oki, Shinjiro Kanae, Wonsik Kim, Kyoichi Otsuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The growth of tropical rainforest in Amazon is critically vulnerable to the change in rainfall and radiation than in temperature, and that amount of rainfall and cloudiness in the northeast region of South American is strongly affected by the Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST). Results from recent model experiments for future climate projection have indicated a reduction of Amazonian greenness by a weakening of tropical vapor circulation system related with the change in SST. Therefore, the observational investigation of the relations between the Amazon greenness and Atlantic SST is fundamental to understand the response of Amazonian tropical forest to climate change. In this study, the effect of Atlantic SST on the spatial and temporal change of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) in the Amazonian region is examined by using satellite remote sensing data for the period of 1981-2001. A strong correlation between NDVI and SST is found for certain regions in Amazon during the periods of 1980s and 1990s, respectively. In addition, strong correlations with NDVI lagging behind SST for two months and one year, respectively, are also identified from the interannual December-to-February (rain season) variations during 1981-2001. Despite these findings, the mechanisms behind the identified correlation remain unclear. Further analyses using observed precipitation and radiation data are required to understand the potential changes of Amazonian rainforest in the context of global warming.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-378
Number of pages12
JournalEcological Informatics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Ecological Modelling
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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