The effects of land-use and land-cover change (LULCC) on surface climate using two ensembles of numerical experiments with the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) comprehensive Earth System Model ESM2Mb are investigated in this study. The experiments simulate historical climate with two different assumptions about LULCC: 1) no land-use change with potential vegetation (PV) and 2) with the CMIP5 historical reconstruction of LULCC (LU). Two different approaches were used in the analysis: 1) the authors compare differences in LU and PV climates to evaluate the regional and global effects of LULCC and 2) the authors characterize subgrid climate differences among different land-use tiles within each grid cell in the LU experiment. Using the first method, the authors estimate the magnitude of LULCC effect to be similar to some previous studies. Using the second method, the authors found a pronounced subgrid signal of LULCCin near-surface temperature over majority of areas affected by LULCC. The signal is strongest on croplands, where it is detectable with 95% confidence over 68.5% of all nonglaciated land grid cells in June-July-August, compared to 8.3% in the first method. In agricultural areas, the subgrid signal tends to be stronger than LU-PV signal by a factor of 1.3 in tropics in both summer and winter and by 1.5 in extratropics in winter. This analysis for the first time demonstrates and quantifies the local, subgrid-scale LULCC effects with a comprehensive ESM and compares it to previous global and regional approaches.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science