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Extreme events driving year-to-year differences in gross primary productivity across the US


Solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) has previously been shown to strongly correlate with gross primary productivity (GPP); however this relationship has not yet been quantified for the recently launched TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI). Here we use a Gaussian mixture model to develop a parsimonious relationship between SIF from TROPOMI and GPP from flux towers across the conterminous United States (CONUS). The mixture model indicates the SIF-GPP relationship can be characterized by a linear model with two terms. We then estimate GPP across CONUS at 500ĝ€¯m spatial resolution over a 16ĝ€¯d moving window. We observe four extreme precipitation events that induce regional GPP anomalies: drought in western Texas, flooding in the midwestern US, drought in South Dakota, and drought in California. Taken together, these events account for 28ĝ€¯% of the year-to-year GPP differences across CONUS. Despite these large regional anomalies, we find that CONUS GPP varies by less than 4ĝ€¯% between 2018 and 2019.

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