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Journal Article

Effects of land cover change on temperature

MPS-Authors
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Brovkin,  Victor       
Climate-Biogeosphere Interaction, The Land in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Gayler,  Veronika       
Climate-Biogeosphere Interaction, The Land in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Pitman, A. J., de Noblet-Ducoudré, N., Avila, F. B., Alexander, L. V., Boisier, J.-P., Brovkin, V., et al. (2012). Effects of land cover change on temperature. Earth System Dynamics, 3, 213-231. doi:10.5194/esd-3-213-2012.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-E77F-B
Abstract
The impact of historical land use induced land cover change (LULCC) on regional-scale climate extremes is examined using four climate models within the Land Use and Climate, IDentification of robust impacts project. To assess those impacts, multiple indices based on daily maximum and minimum temperatures and daily precipitation were used. We contrast the impact of LULCC on extremes with the impact of an increase in atmospheric CO2 from 280 ppmv to 375 ppmv. In general, changes in both high and low temperature extremes are similar to the simulated change in mean temperature caused by LULCC and are restricted to regions of intense modification. The impact of LULCC on both means and on most temperature extremes is statistically significant. While the magnitude of the LULCC induced change in the extremes can be of similar magnitude to the response to the change in CO2, the impacts of LULCC are much more geographically isolated. For most models the impacts of LULCC oppose the impact of the increase in CO2 except for one model where the CO2-caused changes in the extremes is amplified. While we find some evidence that individual models respond consistently to LULCC in the simulation of changes in rainfall and rainfall extremes, LULCC's role in affecting rainfall is much less clear and less commonly statistically significant, with the exception of a consistent impact over South East Asia. Since the simulated response of mean and extreme temperature to LULCC is relatively large, we conclude that unless this forcing is included we risk erroneous conclusions regarding the drivers of temperature changes over regions of intense LULCC.