Denser vegetation was especially evident across a broad swath of forests and woodlands extending from central Europe and through Siberia to far-east Russia.
In comparison, the pattern of change in North America's growth of vegetation was more fragmented, seen primarily in forests of the East and grasslands of the upper Midwest. On average, the growing season in North America was found to be 12 days longer.
"When we looked at temperature and satellite vegetation data, we saw that year-to-year changes in growth and duration of the growing season of northern vegetation are tightly linked to year-to-year changes in temperature," said Liming Zhou of Boston University, another member of the research team.
Zhou, Myneni, and their colleagues are reporting the findings in the September 16 issue of the Journal of Geophysical ResearchAtmospheres, published by the American Geophysical Union.
The other co-authors were Robert Kaufmann and Nikolai Shabanov of Boston University and Daniel Slayback and Compton Tucker of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
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