Climatic variability prediction with satellite remote sensing and meteorological data in the South Western Nigeria
Climatic variability affects both seasonal phenological cycles of vegetation and monthly distribution of rainfall in the south western Nigeria. Variations in vegetation biophysical parameters have been known to be a good indicator of climate variability; hence they are used as key inputs into climate change models. However, understanding the response of vegetation to the influence of climate at both temporal and spatial scales have been a major challenge. This is because most climatic data available are derived from ground-based instruments, which are mainly point measurements and are characterized by sparse network of meteorological stations that lacks the spatial coverage required for climate change investigation. Satellite remote sensing instruments can provide a suitable alternative of time-reliable datasets in a more consistent manner at both temporal and spatial scales.
The aim of this study is to test the suitability of one year time series datasets obtained from satellite sensor and meteorological stations as a starting point for the development of a climate change model that can be exploited in planning adaptation strategies. Taking into consideration that rainfall is the most variable element of climate in the study area, rainfall data acquired from five meteorological stations for the year 2006 were correlated with changes in Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) derived from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)/Terra satellite sensor for the same period using a linear regression equation. The results shows that rainfall–NDVI relationship was stronger along the seasonal track with R2 ranging from 0.74 to 0.94, indicating that NDVI seasonal variations can be used as a surrogate data source for monitoring climate change for short and long term scales ranging from regional to global magnitude especially in areas where data availability from ground-based measurements are unreliable.