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The role of land cover change in modulating the soil moisture-temperature land-atmosphere coupling strength over Australia

Hirsch, A.L., Pitman, A.J. and Kala, J. (2014) The role of land cover change in modulating the soil moisture-temperature land-atmosphere coupling strength over Australia. Geophysical Research Letters, 41 (16). pp. 5883-5890.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2014GL061179
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Abstract

The severity of recent droughts and heat waves have been linked to land-atmosphere feedbacks. However, investigations of how these feedbacks are influenced by land use and land cover change (LULCC) are limited. Using the Weather and Research Forecasting model with an ensemble framework of planetary boundary layer and cumulus parameterization schemes, we combine the Global Land Atmosphere Coupling Experiment methodology with LULCC to assess how LULCC affects land-atmosphere coupling strength for maximum temperature over Australia. We find a statistically significant decrease in soil moisture-temperature coupling over regions where forest changes to crops, which was consistent across the implemented model physics and background climate. This was associated with a decrease in the ensemble mean variance suggesting that LULCC influences regional climate variability via changes in the regional scale hydrology and surface energy balance. Our results highlight the need to consider land surface changes and coupling strength in combination, rather than in isolation.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Copyright: © 2014. American Geophysical Union
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/29845
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