Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Version of Record

Publication Date

12-4-2010

Description

Satellite‐derived land cover land use (LCLU), snow and albedo data, and incoming surface solar radiation reanalysis data were used to study the impact of LCLU change from 1973 to 2000 on surface albedo and radiative forcing for 58 ecoregions covering 69% of the conterminous United States. A net positive surface radiative forcing (i.e., warming) of 0.029 Wm−2 due to LCLU albedo change from 1973 to 2000 was estimated. The forcings for individual ecoregions were similar in magnitude to current global forcing estimates, with the most negative forcing (as low as −0.367 Wm−2) due to the transition to forest and the most positive forcing (up to 0.337 Wm−2) due to the conversion to grass/shrub. Snow exacerbated both negative and positive forcing for LCLU transitions between snow‐hiding and snow‐revealing LCLU classes. The surface radiative forcing estimates were highly sensitive to snow‐free inter-annual albedo variability that had a percent average monthly variation from 1.6% to 4.3% across the ecoregions. The results described in this paper enhance our understanding of contemporary LCLU change on surface radiative forcing and suggest that future forcing estimates should model snow and inter-annual albedo variation.

Publication Title

Journal of Geophysical Research

Volume

115

DOI of Published Version

10.1029/2010JG001428

Pages

14

Type

text

Format

application/pdf

Language

en

Publisher

American Geophysical Union

Rights

© 2010 American Geological Union

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