The Sahel region of Africa has experienced a decrease in rainfall from the early 1960s to mid 1990s. Recent studies have detected an increased in NDVI amplitude and growing season integrated NDVI for the region since 1982. However, these studies have not examined how plant phenology has changed. Phenology examines life cycle events such as bud burst and leaf senescence. Using the software TIMESAT to estimate phenological parameters from the GIMMS AVHRR NDVI dataset, we have found significant positive trends for the length of the growing and end of the growing season for the Soudan and Guinean regions, but significant trends in the Sahel could not be detected. The geographical extent of these trends contrasts with the more northern extent of positive trends of NDVI amplitude and growing season integrated NDVI. Results suggest two types of "greening" trends associated with rainfall change since the drought in the early 1980s.
- Land degradation