Biogeophysical versus biogeochemical feedbacks of large-scale land cover change
Article first published online: 7 DEC 2012
Copyright 2001 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 28, Issue 6, pages 1011–1014, 15 March 2001
How to Cite
- Issue published online: 7 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 7 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 NOV 2000
- Manuscript Received: 1 SEP 2000
Large-scale changes in land cover affect near-surface energy, moisture and momentum fluxes owing to changes in surface structure (referred to as biogeophysical effects) and the atmospheric CO2 concentration owing to changes in biomass (biogeochemical effects). Here we quantify the relative magnitude of these processes as well as their synergisms by using a coupled atmosphere-biosphere-ocean model of intermediate complexity. Our sensitivity studies show that tropical deforestation tends to warm the planet because the increase in atmospheric CO2 and hence, atmospheric radiation, outweighs the biogeophysical effects. In mid and high northern latitudes, however, biogeophysical processes, mainly the snow-vegetation-albedo feedback through its synergism with the sea-ice-albedo feedback, win over biogeochemical processes, thereby eventually leading to a global cooling in the case of deforestation and to a global warming, in the case of afforestation.