Advances in Climate Change Research 2013/4:4 PP.250-259
The impacts of land cover changes on regional climate in Shaan-Gan-Ning(SGN)in western China were simulated with RegCM3.Sensitivity experiments were conducted by replacing crop grids with diferent new land cover types in the key area of SGN,where the returning cropland to tree/grass project has been carried out since 1999.The modified new land cover types include desert,forest,shrub and grass.They represent degraded,improved,and maintained vegetation cover with natural canopy in the key area.Results from three individual case studies show that the land cover change causes changes in temperature and terrestrial water variables especially within the key area,while changes in precipitation are found for a larger area.The strongest changes appear where the cropland is degraded to bare soil,leading to increasing temperature and decreases in rainfall,evaporation and soil water.Opposite changes occur when cropland changed into forests,especially with strong increases in soil water.When cropland changed to grass and shrub land,the climatic changes are closer to those with forest cover.This shows the importance of improving and maintaining the vegetation in SGN for the ecosystem and regional climate.
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