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Land Use/Land Cover involve interactions of the atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere. Land use and land cover are linked to climate and other environmental changes in complex ways, such as the exchange of greenhouse gases between plants and soils and the atmosphere, the effects of changes in land use and land cover on Earth's heat balance, and the impacts of changing environmental conditions on terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity.

Past land cover changes, such as the transitions from deglacierized bedrock to forest are important to understanding past climate variability and change, and projections of future land cover change are needed as input to models of future climate changes. Changes in land use and land cover affect ecosystems, biodiversity, agricultural productivity, and other goods and services of value to society. Many changes are the result of human activities.