Assessing Climatic Impacts due to Land Use Change over Southeast Asian Maritime Continent base on Mesoscale Model Simulations

Monday, 15 December 2014
Nan Feng, Sundar Anand Christopher and Udaysankar S Nair, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL, United States
Due to increasing urbanization, deforestation, and agriculture, land use change over Southeast Asia has dramatically risen during the last decades. Large areas of peat swamp forests over the Southeast Asian Maritime Continent region (10°S~20°N and 90°E~135°E) have been cleared for agricultural purposes. The Center for Remote Imaging, Sensing and Processing (CRISP) Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) derived land cover classification data show that changes in land use are dominated by conversion of peat swamp forests to oil palm plantation, open lowland or lowland mosaic categories. Nested grid simulations based on Weather Research Forecasting Version 3.6 modelling system (WRFV3.6) over the central region of the Sarawak coast are used to investigate the climatic impacts of land use change over Maritime Continent. Numerical simulations were conducted for August of 2009 for satellite derived land cover scenarios for years 2000 and 2010. The variations in cloud formation, precipitation, and regional radiative and non-radiative parameters on climate results from land use change have been assessed based on numerical simulation results. Modelling studies demonstrate that land use change such as extensive deforestation processes can produce a negative radiative forcing due to the surface albedo increase and evapotranspiration decrease, while also largely caused reduced rainfall and cloud formation, and enhanced shortwave radiative forcing and temperature over the study area. Land use and land cover changes, similar to the domain in this study, has also occurred over other regions in Southeast Asia including Indonesia and could also impact cloud and precipitation formation in these regions.