U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

Land Use Impacts on Surface Temperature
Published: November 16, 2009
Posted: November 20, 2009

Regional surface temperatures can be affected by changes in land use according to a DOE-funded study, that greener land cover contributes to cooler temperatures and most other changes lead to warmer temperatures. The study examined sensitivities of surface temperature trends for the period 1979-2003 using land cover change information over the 48 conterminous United States and data from the DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility's Southern Great Plains site in Oklahoma. The study is further evidence that land use should be better incorporated into computer models projecting future climate conditions and suggests that strategies such as creating green spaces and buffer zones in and around urban areas could be a tool in addressing climate change.

References: Fall, S., et al. 2009. "Impacts of Land Use Land Cover on Temperature Trends over the Continental United States: Assessment Using the North American Regional Reanalysis, International Journal of Climatology. DOI: 10.1002/joc.1996, published online. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/joc.1996

Contact: Rickey Petty, SC-23.1, (301) 903-5548
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling
  • Research Area: Atmospheric System Research
  • Facility: DOE ARM User Facility

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


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