• A personal note on IGBP and the social sciences

    Humans are an integral component of the Earth system as conceptualised by IGBP. João Morais recalls key milestones in IGBP’s engagement with the social sciences and offers some words of advice for Future Earth.
  • IGBP and Earth observation:
    a co-evolution

    The iconic images of Earth beamed back by the earliest spacecraft helped to galvanise interest in our planet’s environment. The subsequent evolution and development of satellites for Earth observation has been intricately linked with that of IGBP and other global-change research programmes, write Jack Kaye and Cat Downy .

The impact of future land-use and land-cover changes on atmospheric chemistry-climate interactions

Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (2010)
Ganzeveld L, Bouwman L, Stehfest E, van Vuuren D P, Eickhout B and Lelieveld J
DOI: 10.1029/2010JD014041
Vol 115; Issue: D23

To demonstrate potential future consequences of land cover and land use changes beyond those for physical climate and the carbon cycle, we present an analysis of large-scale impacts of land cover and land use changes on atmospheric chemistry using the chemistry-climate model EMAC (ECHAM5/MESSy Atmospheric Chemistry) constrained with present-day and 2050 land cover, land use, and anthropogenic emissions scenarios. Future land use and land cover changes are expected to result in an increase in global annual soil NO emissions by ∼1.2 TgN yr−1 (9%), whereas isoprene emissions decrease by ∼50 TgC yr−1 (−12%). The analysis shows increases in simulated boundary layer ozone mixing ratios up to ∼9 ppbv and more than a doubling in hydroxyl radical concentrations over deforested areas in Africa. Small changes in global atmosphere-biosphere fluxes of NOx and ozone point to compensating effects. Decreases in soil NO emissions in deforested regions are counteracted by a larger canopy release of NOx caused by reduced foliage uptake. Despite this decrease in foliage uptake, the ozone deposition flux does not decrease since surface layer mixing ratios increase because of a reduced oxidation of isoprene by ozone. Our study indicates that the simulated impact of land cover and land use changes on atmospheric chemistry depends on a consistent representation of emissions, deposition, and canopy interactions and their dependence on meteorological, hydrological, and biological drivers to account for these compensating effects. It results in negligible changes in the atmospheric oxidizing capacity and, consequently, in the lifetime of methane. Conversely, we expect a pronounced increase in oxidizing capacity as a consequence of anthropogenic emission increases.

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