Impact of land cover change on surface climate: Relevance of the radiative forcing concept
Article first published online: 6 JUL 2007
Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 34, Issue 13, July 2007
How to Cite
2007), Impact of land cover change on surface climate: Relevance of the radiative forcing concept, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L13702, doi:10.1029/2007GL029678., , and (
- Issue published online: 6 JUL 2007
- Article first published online: 6 JUL 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 31 MAY 2007
- Manuscript Revised: 26 APR 2007
- Manuscript Received: 19 FEB 2007
- land cover change;
- radiative forcing;
- surface climate
 We use the IPSL climate model to investigate biophysical impacts of Anthropogenic Land Cover Change (ALCC) on surface climate. Including both the changes in surface albedo and evapotranspiration, we find that ALCC represents a radiative forcing of −0.29 W/m2 from 1860 to 1992 and of −0.7 W/m2 from 1992 to 2100. The simulated surface temperature response to ALCC indicates a historical cooling of 0.05 K and an additional cooling due to future changes of 0.14 K, which is consistent with the sign of the radiative forcing. However, this cooling is substantially lower than the one we would have obtained if it was caused by a radiatively equivalent change in CO2 concentration. These results thus question the relevance of the radiative forcing framework in the context of land use change, since the radiative forcing due to ALCC may not be comparable to the one exerted by other anthropogenic perturbations.