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Title: Forecasting the response of Earth's surface to future climatic and land use changes: A review of methods and research needs

In the future, Earth will be warmer, precipitation events will be more extreme, global mean sea level will rise, and many arid and semiarid regions will be drier. Human modifications of landscapes will also occur at an accelerated rate as developed areas increase in size and population density. We now have gridded global forecasts, being continually improved, of the climatic and land use changes (C&LUC) that are likely to occur in the coming decades. However, besides a few exceptions, consensus forecasts do not exist for how these C&LUC will likely impact Earth-surface processes and hazards. In some cases, we have the tools to forecast the geomorphic responses to likely future C&LUC. Fully exploiting these models and utilizing these tools will require close collaboration among Earth-surface scientists and Earth-system modelers. This paper assesses the state-of-the-art tools and data that are being used or could be used to forecast changes in the state of Earth's surface as a result of likely future C&LUC. We also propose strategies for filling key knowledge gaps, emphasizing where additional basic research and/or collaboration across disciplines are necessary. The main body of the paper addresses cross-cutting issues, including the importance of nonlinear/threshold-dominated interactions among topography, vegetation, andmore » sediment transport, as well as the importance of alternate stable states and extreme, rare events for understanding and forecasting Earth-surface response to C&LUC. Five supplements delve into different scales or process zones (global-scale assessments and fluvial, aeolian, glacial/periglacial, and coastal process zones) in detail.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [9] ;  [10] ;  [11] ;  [12] ;  [13] ;  [14] ;  [15] ;  [3] ;  [15] ;  [16] ;  [17] ;  [18] more »;  [19] ;  [20] « less
  1. Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States). Dept. of Geosciences.
  2. Duke Univ., Durham, NC (United States). Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences.
  3. Boise State Univ., Boise, ID (United States). Dept. of Geosciences.
  4. Univ. of Vermont, Burlington, VT (United States). Dept. of Geology.
  5. Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States). School of Natural Resources and the Environment.
  6. Idaho State Univ., Pocatello, ID (United States). Dept. of Geosciences.
  7. Environmental Sciences Centre, Nottingham (United Kingdom). British Geological Survey.
  8. Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (United States). Dept of Civil Engineering, St. Anthony Falls Lab.
  9. Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States). School of Earth and Space Exploration.
  10. Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States). Dept of Geography.
  11. Desert Research Inst. (DRI), Reno, NV (United States)
  12. Duke Univ., Durham, NC (United States). Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences; Duke Univ. Durham, NC (United States). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Univ. of Padova, Padova (Italy). Dept. of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering.
  13. Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, PA (United States). Dept. of Earth and Environment.
  14. Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC (United States). Dept. of Geological Sciences.
  15. Utah State Univ., Logan, UT (United States). Dept. of Geology.
  16. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Division of Earth and Environmental Sciences.
  17. Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR (United States). College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.
  18. Univ. of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH (United States). Dept. of Geology.
  19. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Dept. of Geological Sciences.
  20. Univ. of Idaho, Boise, ID (United States). Dept. of Civil Engineering.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Earth's Future
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 3; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 2328-4277
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Research Org:
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States