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Widespread Decline in Winds Delays Autumn Foliar Senescence over High Latitudes
Update time: [April 23, 2021]
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The responses of the Date of autumn Foliar Senescence (DFS) to climate change have focused for a better interpretation of carbon uptake.

Prof. WU Chaoyang's team at Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research of Chinese Academy of Sciences explored the changes of DFS in autumn with climate change (i.e. decline in winds) over the high northern latitudes (>50°).  

The team found that the decline in winds was significantly extended DFS over high latitudes at a magnitude comparable with temperature and precipitation effects.  

This article was published on April 20, 2021 at the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). 

Researchers analyzed 183,448 phonological observations at 2405 sites together with satellite greenness data during the last 34 years. The results suggested that decline in winds reduces evapotranspiration in less soil water losses and consequently more favorable growth condition in late autumn.  

In addition, decline in winds led to less leaf abscission damage, delayed leaf senescence, decreased cooling effectand therefore less frost damage. 

“We found that DFS would be earlier than currently expected for most regions under two Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenarios and that this average gap would be even larger for a scenario with higher emissions of CO2,” said Prof. WU. 

One of significances for understanding climate change based on these findings is that it improved the carbon cycle modeling projected overall widespread earlier DFS by the end of this century, contributing potentially to a positive feedback to climate.



Chaoyang Wu*, Jian Wang*, Philippe Ciais, Josep Peuelas, Xiaoyang Zhang, Oliver Sonnentag, Feng Tian, Xiaoyue Wang, Huanjiong Wang, Ronggao Liu, Yongshuo H. Fu, Quansheng Ge*. 2021. Widespread decline in winds delayed autumn foliar senescence over high latitudes. PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.2015821.

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