Historical climatic impacts of land-use and land-cover changes

Co-Author: Quentin Lejeune
Co-Author: Edouard L. Davin
Co-Author: Sonia I. Seneviratne
Over the last millennium, humans have been transforming natural ecosystems into agricultural areas.These land-use and landcover changes have modified the physical properties of the land surface,such as its albedo or the partitioning between latent and sensible heat flux. Previous studies showed that this has had significant climatic impacts, particularly over regions of intense modification of land cover.

Using both all-forcings and land-use-only CESM-LME simulations, we will investigate the climate impacts of historical land-use and land-cover changes at both global and regional scales.We will focus on mean and extreme surface temperature, as well as the mechanisms controlling these variables. We intend to detect when these impacts emerged from the natural variability, and to quantify their relative contribution to total climate change over this period. In a second time, we want to compare these results to those from CMIP5 simulations with similar protocols. Eventually, we will examine whether these model findings can be confirmed by recent observations.