Date of this Version
Published in Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (January 2010) Volume 91, Issue 1 pp. 37-46. DOI:10.1175/2009BAMS2769.1
Human activities have modified the environment for thousands of years. Significant population increase, migration, and accelerated socioeconomic activities have intensified these environmental changes over the last several centuries. The climate impacts of these changes have been found in local, regional, and global trends in modern atmospheric temperature records and other relevant climatic indicators.
An important human influence on atmospheric temperature trends is extensive land use/land cover change (LULCC) and its climate forcing. Studies using both modeled and observed data have documented these impacts (e.g., Chase et al. 2000; Kalnay and Cai 2003; Cai and Kalnay 2004; Trenberth 2004; Vose et al. 2004; Feddema et al. 2005; Christy et al. 2006; Mahmood et al. 2006b; Ezber et al. 2007; Nuñez et al. 2008). Thus, it is essential that we detect LULCCs accurately, at appropriate scales, and in a timely manner so as to better understand their impacts on climate and provide improved prediction of future climate.