Land surface anomalies preceding the 2010 Russian heat wave and a link to the North Atlantic oscillation

Christopher K. Wright, Kirsten M. De Beurs, Geoffrey M. Henebry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The Eurasian wheat belt (EWB) spans a region across Eastern Ukraine, Southern Russia, and Northern Kazakhstan; accounting for nearly 15% of global wheat production. We assessed land surface conditions across the EWB during the early growing season (April-May-June; AMJ) leading up to the 2010 Russian heat wave, and over a longer-term period from 2000 to 2010. A substantial reduction in early season values of the normalized difference vegetation index occurred prior to the Russian heat wave, continuing a decadal decline in early season primary production in the region. In 2010, an anomalously cold winter followed by an abrupt shift to a warmer-than-normal early growing season was consistent with a persistently negative phase of the North Atlantic oscillation (NAO). Regression analyses showed that early season vegetation productivity in the EWB is a function of both the winter (December-January-February; DJF) and AMJ phases of the NAO. Land surface anomalies preceding the heat wave were thus consistent with highly negative values of both the DJF NAO and AMJ NAO in 2010.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number124015
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd.


  • Arctic amplification
  • Climate change
  • Food security
  • Land surface
  • North Atlantic oscillation
  • Russian heat wave


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