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Climate Impacts from Afforestation and Deforestation in Europe
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology . Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Sweden.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology . Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Sweden.
Number of Authors: 22019 (English)In: Earth Interactions, ISSN 1087-3562, E-ISSN 1087-3562, Vol. 23, no 1, article id 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Changes in vegetation are known to have an impact on climate via biogeophysical effects such as changes in albedo and heat fluxes. Here, the effects of maximum afforestation and deforestation are studied over Europe. This is done by comparing three regional climate model simulations-one with present-day vegetation, one with maximum afforestation, and one with maximum deforestation. In general, afforestation leads to more evapotranspiration (ET), which leads to decreased near-surface temperature, whereas deforestation leads to less ET, which leads to increased temperature. There are exceptions, mainly in regions with little water available for ET. In such regions, changes in albedo are relatively more important for temperature. The simulated biogeophysical effect on seasonal mean temperature varies between 0.5 degrees and 3 degrees C across Europe. The effect on minimum and maximum temperature is larger than that on mean temperature. Increased (decreased) mean temperature is associated with an even larger increase (decrease) in maximum summer (minimum winter) temperature. The effect on precipitation is found to be small Two additional simulations in which vegetation is changed in only one-half of the domain were also performed. These simulations show that the climatic effects from changed vegetation in Europe are local. The results imply that vegetation changes have had, and will have, a significant impact on local climate in Europe; the climatic response is comparable to climate change under RCP2.6. Therefore, effects from vegetation change should be taken into account when simulating past, present, and future climate for this region. The results also imply that vegetation changes could be used to mitigate local climate change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 23, no 1, article id 1
Keywords [en]
Europe, Atmosphere-land interaction, Climate sensitivity, Feedback
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-166557DOI: 10.1175/EI-D-17-0033.1ISI: 000458842100001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-166557DiVA, id: diva2:1293338
Available from: 2019-03-04 Created: 2019-03-04 Last updated: 2019-03-04Bibliographically approved

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