Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Geospatial Science and Engineering

First Advisor

David P. Roy


Land Cover Land Use (LCLU) change affects Earth surface properties including albedo that impose a radiative forcing on the climate. Recent spatially explicit satellite derived contemporary LCLU, albedo, and projected LCLU data are used to study the impact of LCLU change from 1973 to 2000, and from 2000 to 2050, on albedo and surface radiative forcing for the conterminous United States. Four research hypotheses concerned with past and potential future climate implications of LCLU change are addressed. The research described in this dissertation makes an important contribution to advancing understanding of the role of LCLU change on the climate system, which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [2007] currently describes as having a low to medium level of scientific understanding. This research explicitly addresses the recommendation made by the U.S. National Research Council (NRC) Radiative Forcing Effects of Climate Change report, for regional studies to better understand climatic responses to LCLU change [NRC, 2005]. This dissertation research has, to date, resulted in one published, one in press and one submitted paper.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Land use -- United States
Radiative forcing
Climatic changes


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 2010 Christopher A. Barnes