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www.news.gatech.edu/2009/11/09/reducing-greenhouse-gases-may...
Georgia Tech City and Regional Planning Professor Brian Stone publishes a paper in the December edition of Environmental Science and Technology that suggests policymakers need to address the influence of global deforestation and urbanization on climate change, in addition to greenhouse gas emissions....

"Across the U.S. as a whole, approximately 50 percent of the warming that has occurred since 1950 is due to land use changes (usually in the form of clearing forest for crops or cities) rather than to the emission of greenhouse gases," said Stone....

According to Stone's research, slowing the rate of forest loss around the world, and regenerating forests where lost, could significantly slow the pace of global warming.

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Bob: www.news.gatech.edu/2009/11/09/reducing-greenhouse-gases-may......
Georgia Tech City and Regional Planning Professor Brian Stone publishes a paper in the December edition of Environmental Science and Technology that suggests policymakers need to address the influence of global deforestation and urbanization on climate change, in addition to greenhouse gas emissions....


I was stationed in (northern) Italy in the early 1960's. I noticed the absence of trees - forests, at least until one got to the Alps. I mentioned this to an Italian friend, and he assured me that the trees were cut down by the Romans to get wood for their ships.

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I was stationed in (northern) Italy in the early 1960's. I noticed the absence of trees - forests, at least until one got to the Alps. I mentioned this to an Italian friend, and he assured me that the trees were cut down by the Romans to get wood for their ships.

I remember reading that the mountains of Greece and Yugoslavia were wooded until the Napoleonic wars. The Brits then needed tremendous amounts of timber to build up their navy....

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Ward, Mahowald and Kloster modeled the climate forcing of land use and land cover change. They write "With all forcing agents considered together, we show that 40% (±16%) of the present-day anthropogenic RF can be attributed to LULCC."

Potential climate forcing of land use and land cover change
www.atmos-chem-phys.net/14/12701/2014/acp-14-12701-2014.pdf

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Deforestation long overlooked as contributor to climate change
https://new.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/cu-dlo090517...
When it comes to tackling climate change, the focus often falls on reducing the use of fossil fuels and developing sustainable energy sources. But a new Cornell University study shows that deforestation and subsequent use of lands for agriculture or pasture, especially in tropical regions, contribute more to climate change than previously thought.

The new paper, "Are the Impacts of Land Use on Warming Underestimated in Climate Policy?" published in Environmental Research Letters, also shows just how significantly that impact has been underestimated. Even if all fossil fuel emissions are eliminated, if current tropical deforestation rates hold steady through 2100, there will still be a 1.5 degree increase in global warming.

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The USA’s expanding cities and suburbs are contributing more to global warming than previously thought
https://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2009/11/06/news-artic...
The USA’s expanding cities and suburbs are contributing more to global warming than previously thought, says a new study in the Royal Meteorological Society’s International Journal of Climatology.

“We found that most land-use changes, especially urbanization, result in warming,” said study co-author Eugenia Kalnay of the University of Maryland....“I think that greenhouse warming is incredibly important, but land use should not be neglected,” Kalnay said. “It clearly contributes to warming, especially in urban and arid areas.”....“But our results suggest that land-use change can effect surface temperatures as much or more than what has been simulated by the global climate models as being due to added CO2 from human activities.”

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Forecasters look back in time
www.nature.com/news/forecasters-look-back-in-time-1.10215
Ron Stouffer, a climate researcher at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey, says that his team’s model has already delivered surprises on the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

“It turns out that land-use changes, right up to about 1950 or even 1970, were as large a player as fossil-fuel emissions were,” he says. “And even today they are not trivial.”

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No. of Recommendations: 5
In this research 90 years of temperature trends (1910-2003) were compared for two nearby sites in central California, one in the San Joaquin valley and one in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Over the years the valley site saw extensive growth in irrigated agriculture, while the foothill site did not. The valley temperature trend was 0.07°C per decade (0.7° per century) while the nearby foothill site had a trend of -0.02°C per decade.

Methodology and Results of Calculating Central California Surface Temperature Trends: Evidence of Human-Induced Climate Change?
https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI3627.1

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No. of Recommendations: 1
http://boards.fool.com/florida-land-use-27428830.aspx
Their research showed that the hot season in Florida has gotten a lot hotter — and longer — in some places, but not at all in others....

Neither the intensity of the heat nor the increasing number of hotter days was related to water temperatures in the Atlantic and Gulf, a fact that surprised Winsberg. The heat trends also weren’t consistent across the state. In fact, some areas, notably in the northeast part of the state, saw a shorter hot season and a decrease in the number of dog days.

That evidence leads Winsberg and FSU meteorologists to blame the hot spots on local land-use changes that accentuate the urban “heat-island” effect — the pools of heat that large, dense concentrations of people produce in their local climates. Cutting down trees, draining wetlands and pouring concrete all make a place hotter, as anyone who’s walked across an asphalt parking lot on a summer day knows, Winsberg says.

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Biospheric feedback effects in a synchronously coupled model of human and Earth systems
Thornton et al.
www.nature.com/articles/nclimate3310
Abstract:
Fossil fuel combustion and land-use change are the two largest contributors to industrial-era increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration. Projections of these are thus fundamental inputs for coupled Earth system models (ESMs) used to estimate the physical and biological consequences of future climate system forcing.

While historical data sets are available to inform past and current climate analyses, assessments of future climate change have relied on projections of energy and land use from energy–economic models, constrained by assumptions about future policy, land-use patterns and socio-economic development trajectories.

Here we show that the climatic impacts on land ecosystems drive significant feedbacks in energy, agriculture, land use and carbon cycle projections for the twenty-first century. We find that exposure of human-appropriated land ecosystem productivity to biospheric change results in reductions of land area used for crops; increases in managed forest area and carbon stocks; decreases in global crop prices; and reduction in fossil fuel emissions for a low–mid-range forcing scenario.

The feedbacks between climate-induced biospheric change and human system forcings to the climate system — demonstrated here — are handled inconsistently, or excluded altogether, in the one-way asynchronous coupling of energy–economic models to ESMs used to date.
[emphasis added]

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Deo et al. modeled the Australian climate for the period 1951-2003. They compared the results when using pre-European land cover versus 1990 conditions. In New South Wales and Victoria the long-term summer and area-averaged latent heat flux decreased by 4.8 W/m2 while the sensible heat flux increased by 1.1 W/m2, leading to a warmer land surface and an increase in the number of dry and hot days.

Impact of historical land cover change on daily indices of climate extremes including droughts in eastern Australia
https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/200...

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"Across the U.S. as a whole, approximately 50 percent of the warming that has occurred since 1950 is due to land use changes (usually in the form of clearing forest for crops or cities) rather than to the emission of greenhouse gases," said Stone....

1/4 to 1/3 of observed warming trends in China from 1980 to 2015 are attributed to land use changes
Shen and Zhao
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-021-03045-9...
Abstract:
Changes in land use, especially urbanization, alter the biophysical properties of Earth’s surface, which in turn affects local climate and even contributes to global warming. The observation minus reanalysis (OMR) approach has been widely applied to isolate the signal of surface forcing from observed temperature changes (which reflect all the sources of climate forcings, including surface effects), but bias in warming trends induced by surface change and estimation uncertainties still remain. Using the ensemble mean of eight temperature reanalysis datasets as background climate, along with in situ observations from 2353 meteorological stations, here we analyze the warming effects of land use changes in China between 1980 and 2015. Results show that OMR trends from land use changes collectively reached +0.100, +0.098, and +0.146 °C/decade for annual mean, maximum, and minimum temperature, contributing approximately 1/4 to 1/3 of overall observed warming trends, and stronger contributions were observed in the three largest urban agglomerations (i.e., Jing-Jin-Ji, the Yangtze River Delta, and the Pearl River Delta). The spatial distribution of OMR trends shows a great deal of heterogeneity that is closely related to impervious surface (positively) and vegetation cover (negatively).

Warming trends induced by land use changes (including urbanization) present evident diurnal asymmetry (stronger for minimum than maximum) and vary with season (greater in winter/spring than in summer/autumn) and generally increase over time. Our results highlight that observed warming trends in China were likely influenced substantially by land use changes, especially in highly urbanized areas.

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