Evaluating global trends (1988–2010) in harmonized multi-satellite surface soil moisture
Global trends in a new multi-satellite surface soil moisture dataset were analyzed for the period 1988–2010. 27% of the area covered by the dataset showed significant trends (p = 0.05). Of these, 73% were negative and 27% positive. Subtle drying trends were found in the Southern US, central South America, central Eurasia, northern Africa and the Middle East, Mongolia and northeast China, northern Siberia, and Western Australia. The strongest wetting trends were found in southern Africa and the subarctic region. Intra-annual analysis revealed that most trends are not uniform among seasons. The most prominent trend patterns in remotely sensed surface soil moisture were also found in GLDAS-Noah and ERA Interim modeled surface soil moisture and GPCP precipitation, lending confidence to the obtained results. The relationship with trends in GIMMS-NDVI appeared more complex. In areas of mutual disagreement more research is needed to identify potential deficiencies in models and/or remotely sensed products.