Implication of Agricultural Land Use Change on Regional Climate Projection

Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Kazi F Ahmed, University of Connecticut, Groton, CT, United States
Agricultural land use plays an important role in land-atmosphere interaction. Agricultural activity is one of the most important processes driving human-induced land use land cover change (LULCC) in a region. In addition to future socioeconomic changes, climate-induced changes in crop yield represent another important factor shaping agricultural land use. In feedback, the resulting LULCC influences the direction and magnitude of global, regional and local climate change by altering Earth’s radiative equilibrium. Therefore, assessment of climate change impact on future agricultural land use and its feedback is of great importance in climate change study. In this study, to evaluate the feedback of projected land use changes to the regional climate in West Africa, we employed an asynchronous coupling between a regional climate model (RegCM) and a prototype land use projection model (LandPro). The LandPro model, which was developed to project the future change in agricultural land use and the resulting shift in natural vegetation in West Africa, is a spatially explicit model that can account for both climate and socioeconomic changes in projecting future land use changes. In the asynchronously coupled modeling framework, LandPro was run for every five years during the period of 2005-2050 accounting for climate-induced change in crop yield and socioeconomic changes to project the land use pattern by the mid-21st century. Climate data at 0.5˚ was derived from RegCM to drive the crop model DSSAT for each of the five-year periods to simulate crop yields, which was then provided as input data to LandPro. Subsequently, the land use land cover map required to run RegCM was updated every five years using the outputs from the LandPro simulations. Results from the coupled model simulations improve the understanding of climate change impact on future land use and the resulting feedback to regional climate.