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Vegetation Dynamics of Spanish National Parks: 1981-2003
Alcaraz-Segura, D., Cabello, J., Paruelo, J.M. and Delibes, M. 2008. Trends in the surface vegetation dynamics of the national parks of Spain as observed by satellite sensors. Applied Vegetation Science 11: 431-440.

The authors write that "protected areas provide excellent opportunities for [determining] baseline descriptions and trends that ... can be used to evaluate the impact of global environmental change on terrestrial ecosystem functioning."

What was done
Based on this philosophy, Alcaraz-Segura et al. employed satellite-derived normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data -- which provide a measure of net primary production that is described by them as "the most integrative indicator of ecosystem functioning" -- to "evaluate the impact of global environmental change on terrestrial ecosystem functioning of [Spain's] national parks," which provides a sound basis for determining what could have been expected to have occurred throughout the rest of the country and much of Europe (Julien et al., 2006) independent of confounding effects not related to global environmental change.

What was learned
The four researchers, hailing from Argentina, Spain and the United States, report that "most parks showed areas with positive NDVI trends that tended to have higher proportions of Mediterranean coniferous and mixed forests, oro-Mediterranean scrublands, heathlands, maquis and garrigues," while "negative trends were scarce."

What it means
Alcaraz-Segura et al. conclude the report of their findings by stating that "protected areas are changing in the short term and, at least in terms of vegetation greenness, they are changing in a directional way," such that "a large part of the Spanish National Parks is intercepting more photosynthetically active radiation than in the past."

And so the wealth of empirical real-world evidence continues to accumulate for the greening of the earth phenomenon, which is demonstrably driven by the twin evils of the radical environmentalist movement -- rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations -- which trends we are told we must attempt to reverse at all costs. Truly, insanity reigns.

Julien, Y., Sobrino, J.A. and Verhoef, W. 2006. Changes in land surface temperatures and NDVI values over Europe between 1982 and 1999. Remote Sensing of Environment 103: 43-55.

Reviewed 26 August 2009