Impact of Rice Paddy Areas Decrease on Local Climate over Taiwan

Monday, 15 December 2014
Min-Hui Lo, Wen-Hao Wen and Chu-Chun Chen, NTU National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
Agricultural irrigation practice is one of the important anthropogenic processes in the land surface modeling. Irrigation can decrease local surface temperature with alternating surface energy partitioning. Rice paddy is the major food crop in Asian monsoon region and rice is grown under flooded conditions during the growing season; hence, the rice paddy can be considered as an open water body, which has more impacts on the surface energy budget than other cropland does. In this study, we explore how the rice paddy area changes affect Taiwan’s regional climate from both observational data and numerical modeling exercise. The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model is utilized to explore impacts of rice paddy area changes on the regional climate, and energy and water budget changes. In addition, temperature datasets from six automatic weather stations in the northern Taiwan and two stations in the southern Taiwan are analyzed in this study to explore how the Daily Temperature Range (DTR) changes with the decreased rice paddy areas. Previous studies show that due to the urban heat island effect, aerosol direct and indirect effects, and global warming, the DTR has decreased in the past 4 decades observed from most of the weather stations around Taiwan. However, the declined rice paddy area may increase the DTR with higher Bowen ratio during the daytime. Preliminary results show that DTR is decreased in weather stations near the urban area, but increased in weather stations near fallow areas in the past 20 years. It shows that different land use changes may have opposite impacts on local and regional climate.