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IARRP team reveals latitude differences and asymmetrical characteristics of local temperature effects of land cover changes

By IARRP | Updated: 2023-12-07

The Innovation Team of Agricultural Remote Sensing of the Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning (IARRP) of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) has made significant progress in the biophysical response of land surface temperature to land cover changes. The research findings, titled "Local temperature responses to actual land cover changes present significant latitudinal variability and asymmetry," have been published in the top-tier journal "Science Bulletin" (IF="18.9).

The biophysical temperature effect of land cover changes is currently a hot topic in research. Due to the coarse spatial resolution of available data, previous observational-based studies mainly relied on the space-for-time hypothesis to analyze the potential impact of virtual land cover changes, focusing mainly on deforestation/reforestation activities with significant disturbance effects. However, the actual impact of all types of realistic land cover changes on temperature remains unexplored.

To address this issue, the team conducted a comprehensive analysis using their self-developed high-resolution monthly mean land surface temperature dataset from the perspective of all transformation types and their actual impacts. The study shows that the global average warming in regions with land cover changes is 0.08 K, exhibiting significant latitudinal variability (-0.05 to 0.18 K), accounting for up to 44.6% of the overall concurrent warming. Comparison analysis demonstrates that the cooling effect in mid-latitude regions of the Northern Hemisphere during summer is primarily driven by cropland expansion, while warming effects in other regions are driven by forest changes. Furthermore, it further reveals the asymmetrical characteristics where the warming transformations, in terms of both occurrence area and affect intensity, are greater than the cooling transformations, providing a new theoretical basis for land management policy formulation.

Assistant Researcher Xiangyang Liu is the first author of this study, which was supported by the Innovative Research Groups Project of the National Natural Science Foundation of China on "Mechanisms and Methods of Agricultural Remote Sensing."

Paper link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095927323006813 


Occurrence area and temperature effects of different land cover changes