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Influences of specific land use/land cover conversions on climatological normals of near-surface temperature

July 1, 2008

Quantification of the effects of land use/land cover (LULC) changes on proximal measurements of near-surface air temperature is crucial to a better understanding of natural and anthropogenically induced climate change. In this study, data from stations utilized in deriving U.S. climatological temperature normals were analyzed in conjunction with NCEP-NCAR 50-Year Reanalysis (NNR) estimates and highly accurate LULC change maps in order to isolate the effects of LULC change from other climatological factors. While the “Normals” temperatures exhibited considerable warming in both minima and maxima, the NNR data revealed that the majority of the warming of maximum temperatures was not due to nearby LULC change. Warming of minimum temperatures was roughly evenly split between the effects of LULC change and other influences. Furthermore, the effects of LULC change varied considerably depending upon the particular type of land cover conversion that occurred. Urbanization, in particular, was found to result in warming of minima and maxima, while some LULC conversions that might be expected to have significantly altered nearby temperatures (e.g., clear-cutting of forests) did not.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2008
Title Influences of specific land use/land cover conversions on climatological normals of near-surface temperature
DOI 10.1029/2007JD009548
Authors Robert C. Hale, Kevin P. Gallo, Thomas R. Loveland
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres
Series Number
Index ID 70156430
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center