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Title: An assessment of potential climate impact during 1948–2010 using historical land use land cover change maps

Earlier studies of land use land cover change (LULCC) normally used only a specified LULCC map with no interannual variations. In this study, using an Atmospheric General Circulation Model (AGCM) coupled with a land surface model, biophysical impacts of LULCC on global and regional climate are investigated by using a LULCC map which covers 63 years from 1948 to 2010 with interannual variation. A methodology has been developed to convert a recently developed LULCC fraction map with 1° × 1° resolution to the AGCM grid points in which only one dominant type is allowed. Comprehensive evaluations are conducted to ensure consistency of the trend of the original LULCC fraction change and the trend of the fraction of grid point changes over different regions. The model was integrated with a potential vegetation map (CTL) and the map with LULCC, in which a set of surface parameters such as leaf area index, albedo and other soil and vegetation parameters were accordingly changed with interannual variation. The results indicate that the interannual LULCC map simulation is able to reproduce better interannual variability of surface temperature and rainfall when compared to the control simulation. LULCC causes negative effect on global precipitation, with the strongest significant signals more » over degraded regions such as East Asia, West Africa and South America, and some of these changes are consistent with observed regional anomalies for certain time periods. LULCC causes reduction in net radiation and evapotranspiration which leads to changes in monsoon circulation and variation in magnitude and pattern of moisture flux convergence and subsequent reduction in precipitation. Meanwhile, LULCC enhances surface warming during the summer in the LULCC regions due to greatly reduced evapotranspiration. In contradiction to the surface, upper troposphere temperatures are cool because of less latent heat released into the upper troposphere, which leads to weaker circulation in LULCC regions.

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Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
International Journal of Climatology
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
p. 295-315
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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