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Book Chapter

Causes of regional change—land cover

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

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Citation

Gaillard, M.-J., Kleinen, T., Samuelsson, P., Nielsen, A. B., Bergh, J., Kaplan, J., et al. (2015). Causes of regional change—land cover. In The BACC II Author Team (Ed.), Second assessment of climate change for the Baltic Sea Basin (pp. 453-477). Berlin: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-16006-1_25.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0026-C9BC-F
Abstract
Anthropogenic land-cover change (ALCC) is one of the few climate forcings for which the net direction of the climate response over the last two centuries is still not known. The uncertainty is due to the often counteracting temperature responses to the many biogeophysical effects and to the biogeochemical versus biogeophysical effects. Palaeoecological studies show that the major transformation of the landscape by anthropogenic activities in the southern zone of the Baltic Sea basin occurred between 6000 and 3000/2500 cal year BP. The only modelling study of the biogeophysical effects of past ALCCs on regional climate in north-western Europe suggests that deforestation between 6000 and 200 cal year BP may have caused significant change in winter and summer temperature. There is no indication that deforestation in the Baltic Sea area since AD 1850 would have been a major cause of the recent climate warming in the region through a positive biogeochemical feedback. Several model studies suggest that boreal reforestation might not be an effective climate warming mitigation tool as it might lead to increased warming through biogeophysical processes.