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Land use change suppresses precipitation

Junkermann, W., Hacker, J., Lyons, T. and Nair, U. (2009) Land use change suppresses precipitation. In: 6th International Scientific Conference on the Global Energy and Water Cycle and 2nd Integrated Land Ecosystem – Atmosphere Processes Study (iLEAPS) Science Conference, 24 - 28 August, Melbourne.

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    Abstract

    Aerosols of natural and anthropogenic origin have important climate effects through interaction with clouds, which are among the main uncertainties in climate models due to the large variability of aerosol sizes, types and 3D-distributions [1]. Experimental investigations are typically restricted to high concentrations in industrial and urban aerosol plumes although in more remote areas already slight changes in the aerosol concentrations can have a large impact. This study reports on investigations of aerosols over a remote natural laboratory, along the ~1500 km long Vermin Proof Fence, also called “State Barrier Fence”, in Western Australia. This Fence, built in the first decade of the 20th century, separates an area of >100.000 square km of homogeneous terrain, converted to arable land (west), from the natural vegetation of inner Australia, conserved as a nature preserve (east). The Fence protects the agriculture from an invasion of animals but also protects the nature preserve from farming pressure and serves as a clear cut between the two types of landscape. Recent satellite images indicate that the Fence also works as a separation line between different meteorological regions. Clouds, for example, develop more often over regions with natural vegetation [2]. Early surveys of aerosols over Australia [3] found generally clean conditions with less than 1000 ultrafine (~ 20 nm) particles / cm3 throughout most of Australia. Local enhancements were occasionally observed in coastal areas, but, for the analysis of particle distributions they were considered to be unimportant. However, higher numbers of ultrafine particles were now also found downwind of tropical eucalyptus forests on the Australian east coast.

    Publication Type: Conference Paper
    Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
    Notes: Water in a changing climate; progress in land-atmosphere interactions and energy/water cycle research. Proceedings of the 6th International Scientific Conference on the Global Energy and Water Cycle and 2nd Integrated Land Ecosystem - Atmosphere Processes Study (iLEAPS) Science Conference. Reissell, A., Nyman, M., Vesala, M. and Viisanen, T. (eds). pp 207-209
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/2155
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