The role of biospheric feedbacks in the simulation of the impact of historical land cover change on the Australian January climate



[1] Increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations affect vegetation physiologically (through stomatal conductance) and structurally (through changes in leaf area index). It may be important to include these biospheric feedbacks in experiments that explore atmosphere-surface interactions including the impact of historical land cover change (LCC) within the climate system. In this paper, we show that the biospheric feedback affects the simulation of historical human-induced LCC over Australia for January. The biospheric feedbacks reduce the simulated impact of LCC on latent heat flux and temperature. Further, we show that the magnitude of these feedbacks is non-negligible and can be comparable, at regional scales, to changes caused by increases in radiative forcing simulated by a climate model over the same time period. We suggest that exploring the impact of historical LCC, for example on 20th Century climate, without including the biospheric feedbacks may incorrectly assess the impact of LCC.