Summary Results from:

Spatiotemporally consistent global dataset of the GIMMS leaf area index (GIMMS LAI4g) from 1982 to 2020
As they relate to the validation of MOD15

Authors: Cao, S., Li, M., Zhu, Z., Wang, Z., Zha, J., Zhao, W., Duanmu, Z., Chen, J., Zheng, Y., Chen, Y., Myneni, R., Piao, S.

Source: Earth System Science Data

Link to: Access Publication


Leaf area index (LAI) with an explicit biophysical meaning is a critical variable to characterize terrestrial ecosystems. Long-term global datasets of LAI have served as fundamental data support for monitoring vegetation dynamics and exploring its interactions with other Earth components. However, current LAI products face several limitations associated with spatiotemporal consistency. In this study, we employed the back propagation neural network (BPNN) and a data consolidation method to generate a new version of the half-month 1/12° Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies (GIMMS) LAI product, i.e., GIMMS LAI4g, for the period 1982–2020. The significance of the GIMMS LAI4g was the use of the latest PKU GIMMS normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) product and 3.6 million high-quality global Landsat LAI samples to remove the effects of satellite orbital drift and sensor degradation and to develop spatiotemporally consistent BPNN models. The results showed that the GIMMS LAI4g exhibited overall higher accuracy and lower underestimation than its predecessor (GIMMS LAI3g) and two mainstream LAI products (Global LAnd Surface Satellite (GLASS) LAI and Long-term Global Mapping (GLOBMAP) LAI) using field LAI measurements and Landsat LAI samples. Its validation against Landsat LAI samples revealed an R2 of 0.96, root mean square error of 0.32  m2m-2, mean absolute error of 0.16 m2m-2, and mean absolute percentage error of 13.6 % which meets the accuracy target proposed by the Global Climate Observation System. It outperformed other LAI products for most vegetation biomes in a majority area of the land. It efficiently eliminated the effects of satellite orbital drift and sensor degradation and presented a better temporal consistency before and after the year 2000. The consolidation with the reprocessed MODIS LAI allows the GIMMS LAI4g to extend the temporal coverage from 2015 to a recent period (2020), producing the LAI trend that maintains high consistency before and after 2000 and aligns with the reprocessed MODIS LAI trend during the MODIS era. The GIMMS LAI4g product could potentially facilitate mitigating the disagreements between studies of the long-term global vegetation changes and could also benefit the model development in earth and environmental sciences.