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Title: Modeling the impacts of land cover change in Amazonia: A regional climate model (RCM) simulation study
Authors: Correia, Francis Wagner Silva
Alvalá, Regina Célia dos Santos
Manzi, Antônio Ocimar
Keywords: Boundary Condition
Cloud Cover
Dry Season
Energy Budget
Land Cover
Numerical Model
Precipitation (climatology)
Regional Climate
Solar Radiation
Surface Temperature
South America
Issue Date: 2008
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Theoretical and Applied Climatology
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 93, Número 3-4, Pags. 225-244
Abstract: The numerical regional model (Eta) coupled with the Simplified Simple Biosphere Model (SSiB) was used to investigate the impact of land cover changes on the regional climate in Amazonia. Four 13-month integrations were performed for the following scenarios: (a) no deforestation, (b) current conditions, (c) deforestation predicted for 2033, and (d) large scale deforestation. All initial and prescribed boundary conditions were kept identical for all integrations, except the land cover changes. The results show that during the dry season the post-deforestation decrease in root depth plays an important role in the energy budget, since there is less soil moisture available for evapotranspiration. In all scenarios there was a significant increase in the surface temperature, from 2.0 °C in the first scenario, up to 2.8 °C in the last one. In both the scenarios (b) and (c), the downward component of the surface solar radiation decreased due to an increase in the cloud cover over the deforested areas, which contributed to a further reduction of the net radiation absorbed at the surface. The cloud mechanism, where an increase in albedo is balanced by an increase in downward solar radiation, was not detected in any of these scenarios. In scenarios (a), (b) and (c), a negative feedback mechanism was observed in the hydrological cycle, with greater amounts of moisture being carried to the deforested areas. The increase in moisture convergence was greater than the reduction in evapotranspiration for both scenarios (b) and (c). This result, and the meso-scale thermodynamic processes caused an increase in precipitation. A different situation was observed in the large-scale deforestation scenario (d): a local increase of moisture convergence was observed, but not sufficiently intense to generate an increase in precipitation; the local evapotranspiration decrease was dominant in this scenario. Therefore, the partial deforestation in Amazonia can actually lead to an increase in precipitation locally. However, if the deforestation increases, this condition becomes unsustainable, leading to drier conditions and, consequently, to reduced precipitation in the region. © Springer-Verlag 2007.
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1007/s00704-007-0335-z
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