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Title: Climate Effects of Global Land Cover Change

There are two competing effects of global land cover change on climate: an albedo effect which leads to heating when changing from grass/croplands to forest, and an evapotranspiration effect which tends to produce cooling. It is not clear which effect would dominate in a global land cover change scenario. We have performed coupled land/ocean/atmosphere simulations of global land cover change using the NCAR CAM3 atmospheric general circulation model. We find that replacement of current vegetation by trees on a global basis would lead to a global annual mean warming of 1.6 C, nearly 75% of the warming produced under a doubled CO{sub 2} concentration, while global replacement by grasslands would result in a cooling of 0.4 C. These results suggest that more research is necessary before forest carbon storage should be deployed as a mitigation strategy for global warming. In particular, high latitude forests probably have a net warming effect on the Earth's climate.
Authors:
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
877856
Report Number(s):
UCRL-JRNL-215046
Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276; GPRLAJ; TRN: US200608%%592
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Geophysical Research Letters; Journal Volume: 32
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Livermore, CA
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 58 GEOSCIENCES; ALBEDO; CARBON; CLIMATES; FORESTS; GENERAL CIRCULATION MODELS; GREENHOUSE EFFECT; HEATING; MITIGATION; PLANTS; RANGELANDS; STORAGE; TREES