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Impacts of land use on climate and extreme events across scales in North America using Community Earth System Model

Liang Chen, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

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Liang Chen

This research will investigate how land use in North America (including land cover changes and land management practices) influences climate from local to continental scales across different temporal scales from extreme events to decadal climate variations. Recent studies have demonstrated that the local warming effects of middle-latitude deforestation can be overwhelmed by large-scale cooling effects due to the atmospheric feedback. Therefore, it is posited that the land use-climate relationship can be highly dependent on the scales investigated. A conceptual understanding of such scale dependency will be established through a set of numerical experiments with varying spatial resolutions and subgrid configurations using Community Earth System Model version 2 (CESM2). Two key scale-related issues will be addressed: 1) dependency of climatic impacts on spatial resolutions of the climate models; and 2) effects of land surface heterogeneity on simulated climate response. The concept developed above will improve our understanding of land-atmosphere interactions at different spatial scales, and have implications for climate mitigation, such as how future land use can help effectively alleviate regional warming and extreme events.