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A cellular automata downscaling based 1 km global land use datasets (2010–2100)

November 1, 2016

Global climate and environmental change studies require detailed land-use and land-cover(LULC) information about the past, present, and future. In this paper, we discuss a methodology for downscaling coarse-resolution (i.e., half-degree) future land use scenarios to finer (i.e., 1 km) resolutions at the global scale using a grid-based spatially explicit cellular automata (CA) model. We account for spatial heterogeneity from topography, climate, soils, and socioeconomic variables. The model uses a global 30 m land cover map (2010) as the base input, a variety of biogeographic and socioeconomic variables, and an empirical analysis to downscale coarse-resolution land use information (specifically urban, crop and pasture). The output of this model offers the most current and finest-scale future LULC dynamics from 2010 to 2100 (with four representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenarios—RCP 2.6, RCP 4.5, RCP 6.0, and RCP 8.5) at a 1 km resolution within a globally consistent framework. The data are freely available for download, and will enable researchers to study the impacts of LULC change at the local scale.