Regional asymmetry in the response of global vegetation growth to springtime compound climate events

Jun Li, Emanuele Bevacqua, Chi Chen, Zhaoli Wang, Xiaohong Chen, Ranga B. Myneni, Xushu Wu, Chong-Yu Xu, Zhenxing Zhang, Jakob Zscheischler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Compound climate events can strongly impact vegetation productivity, yet the direct and lagged vegetation productivity responses to seasonal compound warm-dry and cold-dry events remain unclear. Here we use observationally-constrained and process-based model data and analyze vegetation productivity responses to compound events of precipitation and temperature in spring and summer across global mid-to-high latitudes. We find regional asymmetries in direct and lagged effects of compound warm-dry events. In high-latitudes (>50°N), compound warm-dry events raise productivity. In contrast, in mid-latitudes (23.5–50°N/S), compound warm-dry events reduce productivity and compound warm-dry springs can cause and amplify summer droughts, thereby reducing summer productivity. Compound cold-dry events impose direct and lagged adverse impacts on productivity in mid-to-high latitudes, exceeding the impacts from individual cold and dry events. Our results highlight the benefits of a multivariate perspective on vegetation vulnerability as precipitation and temperature often covary and jointly drive vegetation impacts.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number123
JournalCommunications Earth & Environment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


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