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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(9), 11586-11601; doi:10.3390/rs70911586

Satellite-Observed Energy Budget Change of Deforestation in Northeastern China and its Climate Implications

1
Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
School of Water Conservancy & Environment, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450001, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Conghe Song, Dengsheng Lu, Guomo Zhou, Guangxing Wang, Soe Myint and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 7 June 2015 / Revised: 16 August 2015 / Accepted: 2 September 2015 / Published: 11 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Cycle, Global Change, and Multi-Sensor Remote Sensing)
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Abstract

Large-scale deforestation may affect the surface energy budget and consequently climate by changing the physical properties of the land surface, namely biophysical effects. This study presents the potential energy budget change caused by deforestation in Northeastern China and its climate implications, which was evaluated by quantifying the differences in MODIS-observed surface physical properties between cropland and forest. We used the MODIS land products for the period of 2001–2010 in 112 cells of 0.75° × 0.75° each, within which only best quality satellite pixels over the pure forest and cropland pixels are selected for comparison. It is estimated that cropland has a winter (summer) mean albedo of 0.38 (0.16), which is 0.15 (0.02) higher than that of forest. Due to the higher albedo, cropland absorbs 16.84 W∙m2 (3.08 W∙m2) less shortwave radiation than forest. Compared to forest, cropland also absorbs 8.79 W∙m2 more longwave radiation in winter and 8.12 W∙m2 less longwave radiation in summer. In total, the surface net radiation of cropland is 7.53 W∙m2 (11.2 W∙m2) less than that of forest in winter (summer). Along with these radiation changes, the latent heat flux through evapotranspiration over cropland is less than that over forest, especially in summer (−19.12 W∙m2). Average sensible heat flux increases in summer (7.92 W∙m2) and decreases in winter (−8.17 W∙m2), suggesting that conversion of forest to cropland may lead to warming in summer and cooling in winter in Northeastern China. However, the annual net climate effect is not notable because of the opposite sign of the energy budget change in summer and winter. View Full-Text
Keywords: Energy budget; climate change; land cover change; deforestation; MODIS Energy budget; climate change; land cover change; deforestation; MODIS
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

He, T.; Shao, Q.; Cao, W.; Huang, L.; Liu, L. Satellite-Observed Energy Budget Change of Deforestation in Northeastern China and its Climate Implications. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 11586-11601.

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