Articles | Volume 14, issue 23
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 12701–12724, 2014
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 12701–12724, 2014

Research article 03 Dec 2014

Research article | 03 Dec 2014

Potential climate forcing of land use and land cover change

D. S. Ward et al.

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Subject: Biosphere Interactions | Research Activity: Atmospheric Modelling | Altitude Range: Troposphere | Science Focus: Chemistry (chemical composition and reactions)
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Cited articles

Albani, S., Mahowald, N. M., Perry, A. T., Scanza, R. A., Zender, C. S., Heavens, N. G., Maggi, V., Kok, J. F., and Otto-Bliesner, B. L.: Improved dust representation in the Community Atmosphere Model, Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 6, 1–30,, 2014.
Allen, M. R., Frame, D. J., Huntingford, C., Jones, C. D., Lowe, J. A., Meinshausen, M., and Meinshausen, N.: Warming caused by cumulative carbon emissions towards the trillionth tonne, Nature, 458, 1163–1166, 2009.
Arneth, A., Harrison, S. P., Zaehle, S., Tsigaridis, K., Menon, S., Bartlein, P. J., Feichter, J., Korhola, A., Kulmala, M., O'Donnell, D., Schurgers, G., Sorvari, S., and Vesala, T.: Terrestrial biogeochemical feedbacks in the climate system, Nat. Geosci., 3, 525–532,, 2010.
Arora, V. K. and Boer, G. J.: Uncertainties in the 20th century carbon budget associated with land use change, Global Change Biol., 16, 3327–3348,, 2010.
Arora, V. K., Boer, G. J., Friedlingstein, P., Eby, M., Jones, C. D., Christian, J. R., Bonan, G., Bopp, L., Brovkin, V., Cadule, P., Hajima, T., Ilyina, T., Lindsay, K., Tjiputra, J. F., and Wu, T.: Carbon-Concentration and Carbon-Climate Feedbacks in CMIP5 Earth System Models, J. Climate, 26, 5289–5314,, 2013.
Short summary
While climate change mitigation policy often focuses on the energy sector, we find that 40% of the historical human-caused change in the Earth’s radiative balance can be attributed to land use activities, such as deforestation and agriculture. Since pressure on land resources is expected to increase, we compute a theoretical upper bound on the radiative balance impacts from future land use which suggests that both energy policy and land policy are necessary to minimize future climate change.
Final-revised paper