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Potential Impact of Land Use Change on Future Regional Climate in the Southeastern U.S.: Reforestation and Crop Land ConversionThe impact of future land use and land cover changes (LULCC) on regional and global climate is one of the most challenging aspects of understanding anthropogenic climate change. We study the impacts of LULCC on regional climate in the southeastern U.S. by downscaling the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies global climate model E to the regional scale using a spectral nudging technique with the Weather Research and Forecasting Model. Climate-relevant meteorological fields are compared for two southeastern U.S. LULCC scenarios to the current land use/cover for four seasons of the year 2050. In this work it is shown that reforestation of cropland in the southeastern U.S. tends to warm surface air by up to 0.5 K, while replacing forested land with cropland tends to cool the surface air by 0.5 K. Processes leading to this response are investigated and sensitivity analyses conducted. The sensitivity analysis shows that results are most sensitive to changes in albedo and the stomatal resistance. Evaporative cooling of croplands also plays an important role in regional climate. Implications of LULCC on air quality are discussed. Summertime warming associated with reforestation of croplands could increase the production of some secondary pollutants, while a higher boundary layer will decrease pollutant concentrations; wintertime warming may decrease emissions from biomass burning from wood stoves
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Trail, M. (Georgia Inst. of Tech. Atlanta, GA, United States)
Tsimpidi, A. P. (Georgia Inst. of Tech. Atlanta, GA, United States)
Liu, P. (Georgia Inst. of Tech. Atlanta, GA, United States)
Tsigaridis, Konstantinos (Columbia Univ. New York, NY, United States)
Hu, Y. (Georgia Inst. of Tech. Atlanta, GA, United States)
Nenes, A. (Georgia Inst. of Tech. Atlanta, GA, United States)
Stone, B. (Georgia Inst. of Tech. Atlanta, GA, United States)
Russell, A. G. (Georgia Inst. of Tech. Atlanta, GA, United States)
Date Acquired
October 27, 2015
Publication Date
October 27, 2013
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Volume: 118
Issue: 20
Subject Category
Meteorology and Climatology
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Regional climate change
Land use
Southeast United States
Crop land