Elevation-dependent warming of land surface temperatures in the Andes assessed using MODIS LST time series (2000–2017)

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Aguilar-Lome, Jaime
Espinoza-Villar, Raúl
Espinoza, Jhan-Carlo
Rojas-Acuña, Joel
Willems, Bram Leo
Leyva-Molina, Walter-Martín
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Elsevier B.V.
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In this study, we report on the assessment of elevation-dependent warming processes in the Andean region between 7 °S and 20 °S, using Land Surface Temperature (LST). Remotely sensed LST data were obtained from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor in an 8-day composite, at a 1 km resolution, and from 2000 to 2017 during austral winter (June-July-August, JJA). We analysed the relation between mean monthly daytime LST and mean monthly maximum air temperature. This relation is analysed for different types of coverage, obtaining a significant correlation that varies from 0.57 to 0.82 (p < 0.01). However, effects of change in land cover were ruled out by a previous comparative assessment of trends in daytime LST and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). The distribution of the winter daytime LST trend was found to be increasing in most areas, while decreasing in only a few areas. This trend shows that winter daytime LST is increasing at an average rate of 1.0 °C/decade. We also found that the winter daytime LST trend has a clear dependence on elevation, with strongest warming effects at higher elevations: 0.50 °C/decade at 1000–1500 masl, and 1.7 °C/decade above 5000 masl. However, the winter nighttime LST trend shows a steady increase with altitude increase. The dependence of rising temperature trends on elevation could have severe implications for water resources and high Andean ecosystems. © 2019 Elsevier B.V.
This work was supported by FONDECYT through the project: “Monitoreo de la dinámica de fenómenos ambientales y climáticos extremos en el Perú usando la teledetección por satélite”, funded by USAID through the PEER Project: “Strengthening resilience of Andean river basin headwaters facing global change” (PGA-084063) and “AGUA-ANDES: Ecological Infrastructure Strategies for Enhancing Water Sustainability in the Semi-Arid Andes” (PGA-174194), as well as by CONDESAN through the Project: “Investigación sobre una relación de dependencia entre la tasa de cambio de temperatura y la altitud”. JCE received partial support of the AMANECER project funded by the MOPGA program of the French Government. Additionally, we extend our gratitude to the National Meteorology and Hydrology Service of Peru (SENAMHI-Peru) for providing data used in this study. Finally, the authors are grateful to Nicole Chabaneix and to the anonymous reviewers for their contribution to improve this paper.
Palabras clave
Tropical Andes, High mountains, Land surface warming, Remote sensing