Deforestation-induced warming over tropical mountain regions regulated by elevation - INSU - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers Access content directly
Journal Articles Nature Geoscience Year : 2021

Deforestation-induced warming over tropical mountain regions regulated by elevation

Zhenzhong Zeng
Dashan Wang
Long Yang
  • Function : Author
Jie Wu
  • Function : Author
Alan D. Ziegler
  • Function : Author
Maofeng Liu
  • Function : Author
Timothy D. Searchinger
  • Function : Author
Zong-Liang Yang
  • Function : Author
Deliang Chen
Anping Chen
  • Function : Author
Shilong Piao
David Taylor
  • Function : Author
Xitian Cai
  • Function : Author
Ming Pan
  • Function : Author
Liqing Peng
  • Function : Author
Peirong Lin
  • Function : Author
Drew Gower
  • Function : Author
Yu Feng
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 765838
  • IdRef : 159066964
Chunmiao Zheng
  • Function : Author
Kaiyu Guan
  • Function : Author
Xu Lian
  • Function : Author
Tao Wang
Lang Wang
  • Function : Author
Su-Jong Jeong
  • Function : Author
Zhongwang Wei
Justin Sheffield
  • Function : Author
Kelly Caylor
  • Function : Author
Eric F. Wood
  • Function : Author

Abstract

Agriculture is expanding in tropical mountainous areas, yet its climatic effect is poorly understood. Here, we investigate how elevation regulates the biophysical climate impacts of deforestation over tropical mountainous areas by integrating satellite-observed forest cover changes into a high-resolution land-atmosphere coupled model. We show that recent forest conversion between 2000 and 2014 increased the regional warming by 0.022 ± 0.002 °C in the Southeast Asian Massif, 0.010 ± 0.007 °C in the Barisan Mountains (Maritime Southeast Asia), 0.042 ± 0.010 °C in the Serra da Espinhaço (South America) and 0.047 ± 0.008 °C in the Albertine Rift mountains (Africa) during the local dry season. The deforestation-driven local temperature anomaly can reach up to 2 °C where forest conversion is extensive. The warming from mountain deforestation depends on elevation, through the intertwined and opposing effects of increased albedo causing cooling and decreased evapotranspiration causing warming. As the elevation increases, the albedo effect increases in importance and the warming effect decreases, analogous to previously highlighted decreases of deforestation-induced warming with increasing latitude. As most new croplands are encroaching lands at low to moderate elevations, deforestation produces higher warming from suppressed evapotranspiration. Impacts of this additional warming on crop yields, land degradation and biodiversity of nearby intact ecosystems should be incorporated into future assessments.
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Dates and versions

insu-03660177 , version 1 (05-05-2022)

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Zhenzhong Zeng, Dashan Wang, Long Yang, Jie Wu, Alan D. Ziegler, et al.. Deforestation-induced warming over tropical mountain regions regulated by elevation. Nature Geoscience, 2021, 14, pp.23-29. ⟨10.1038/s41561-020-00666-0⟩. ⟨insu-03660177⟩
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