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The Importance of Land-Cover Change in Simulating Future Climates

Feddema, Johannes J., Oleson, Keith W., Bonan, Gordon B., Mearns, Linda O., Buja, Lawrence E., Meehl, Gerald A., Washington, Warren M.
Science 2005 v.310 no.5754 pp. 1674-1678
climate change, simulation models, vegetation cover, plant ecology, climatic factors, air temperature, land use change, agriculture
Adding the effects of changes in land cover to the A2 and B1 transient climate simulations described in the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change leads to significantly different regional climates in 2100 as compared with climates resulting from atmospheric SRES forcings alone. Agricultural expansion in the A2 scenario results in significant additional warming over the Amazon and cooling of the upper air column and nearby oceans. These and other influences on the Hadley and monsoon circulations affect extratropical climates. Agricultural expansion in the mid-latitudes produces cooling and decreases in the mean daily temperature range over many areas. The A2 scenario results in more significant change, often of opposite sign, than does the B1 scenario.