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Atmosphere 2017, 8(4), 64;

Global Climate Responses to Land Use and Land Cover Changes Over the Past Two Millennia

1,2,3,* and 1
Key Laboratory of Virtual Geographic Environment of Ministry of Education & State Key Laboratory Cultivation Base of Geographic Environment Evolution of Jiangsu Province, School of Geography Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China
Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210023, China
Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory for Numerical Simulation of Large Scale Complex Systems, School of Mathematical Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Robert W. Talbot
Received: 26 December 2016 / Revised: 17 March 2017 / Accepted: 18 March 2017 / Published: 23 March 2017
Full-Text   |   PDF [7232 KB, uploaded 23 March 2017]   |  


A reconstructed land use/land cover change (LUCC) dataset was used with the Community Earth System Model (CESM) to conduct a climate sensitivity analysis over the past two millennia. Compared to a controlled experiment conducted with the CESM, the LUCC showed significant biogeophysical effects on global climate on multi-decadal to centennial time scales. The global annual mean temperature and precipitation show clear decadal and multi-centennial scale oscillations when the LUCC effect was considered in the CESM simulation. With increased crop acreage and decreased natural vegetation over the past two millennia, the reflected terrestrial solar radiation has increased and the net terrestrial radiation has decreased, leading to a decrease in the global annual mean temperature. Global annual mean precipitation has also decreased along with decreased evaporation and atmospheric humidity. Our simulation suggests that LUCC mainly influences convective precipitation and has little influence on large-scale precipitation. The impact of LUCC has latitudinal and seasonal differences. The largest response of temperature to LUCC has occurred in the middle latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere (NH), while the largest precipitation response occurred at lower latitudes of the NH. The responses of temperature and precipitation to LUCC is stronger in winter and spring than in summer and autumn. View Full-Text
Keywords: two millennia; historical LUCC; biogeophysical effect; global climate; climate simulation two millennia; historical LUCC; biogeophysical effect; global climate; climate simulation

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Yan, M.; Liu, J.; Wang, Z. Global Climate Responses to Land Use and Land Cover Changes Over the Past Two Millennia. Atmosphere 2017, 8, 64.

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