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Spatial Scale Dependency of the Modelled Climatic Response to Deforestation : Volume 9, Issue 10 (22/10/2012)

By Longobardi, P.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003981070
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 49
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Spatial Scale Dependency of the Modelled Climatic Response to Deforestation : Volume 9, Issue 10 (22/10/2012)  
Author: Longobardi, P.
Volume: Vol. 9, Issue 10
Language: English
Subject: Science, Biogeosciences, Discussions
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications

Description: Climate and Atmospheric Sciences Institute (CASI), Canada. Deforestation is associated with increased atmospheric CO2 and alterations to the surface energy and mass balances that can lead to local and global climate changes. Previous modelling studies show that the global surface air temperature (SAT) response to deforestation depends on latitude, with most simulations showing that high latitude deforestation results in cooling, low latitude deforestation causes warming and that the mid latitude response is mixed. These earlier conclusions are based on simulated large scale land cover change, with complete removal of trees from whole latitude bands. Using a global climate model we determine effects of removing fractions of 5% to 100% of forested areas in the high, mid and low latitudes. All high latitude deforestation scenarios reduce mean global SAT, the opposite occurring for low latitude deforestation, although a decrease in SAT is registered over low latitude deforested areas. Mid latitude SAT response is mixed. For all simulations deforested areas tend to become drier and have lower surface air temperature, although soil temperatures increase over deforested mid and low latitude grid cells. For high latitude deforestation fractions of 45% and above, larger net primary productivity, in conjunction with colder and drier conditions after deforestation, cause an increase in soil carbon large enough to generate a previously not reported net drawdown of CO2 from the atmosphere. Our results support previous indications of the importance of changes in cloud cover in the modelled temperature response to deforestation at low latitudes. They also show the complex interaction between soil carbon dynamics and climate and the role this plays on the climatic response to land cover change.

Spatial scale dependency of the modelled climatic response to deforestation

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