Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2013, Vol. 68 ›› Issue (7): 875-885.

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Radiative forcing over China due to albedo change caused by land cover change during 1990-2010

ZHAI Jun1,2, LIU Ronggao1, LIU Jiyuan1, ZHAO Guosong1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2013-03-10 Revised:2013-04-29 Online:2013-07-27 Published:2013-07-27
  • Contact: 刘荣高, 研究员。E-mail: liurg@igsnrr.ac.cn E-mail:liurg@igsnrr.ac.cn
  • Supported by:
    National Key Basic Research Program of China, No.2010CB950902; "Strategic Priority Research Program" of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.XDA05090303

Abstract: Land cover change affects surface radiation budget and energy balance by changing surface albedo, and further impact the regional and global climate. In this paper, the high spatial and temporal resolution remote sensing data were used to analyze the driving mechanism for surface albedo change caused by land cover change during 1990-2010. In addition, the annual scale radiative forcing caused by surface albedo changes in national 50 ecological regions were calculated to reveal the biophysical mechanisms of land cover change affecting climate change at regional scale. Results showed that during 1990-2010, the national land cover change were mainly caused by land reclamation, grassland desertification and urbanization, which were all induced by human land-use activities. Grassland and forest area decreased by 0.60% and 0.11%, respectively; while construction land and farmland area increased by 0.60% and 0.19%, respectively. The mean radiative forcing caused by land cover change during 1990-2010 was 0.062 W/m2 in China, indicating a warming climate effect. However, its spatial heterogeneity was very huge in different ecological regions. Conversion of farmland to construction land, as the main type of land cover change in the Beijing-Tianjin-Tangshan urban and agricultural suburban agro-ecological region, caused an albedo reduction of 0.00456, and the maximum positive radiative forcing was 0.863 W/m2 with warming climate effect. Conversion of grassland and forest to farmland, as the main type of land cover change for the Sanjiang plain temperate-humid agriculture and wetland ecological region, caused an albedo increase of 0.00152 and the maximum negative radiative forcing was 0.184 W/m2 with cooling climate effect.

Key words: downward shortwave radiation, surface radiative forcing, surface albedo, land cover change, China, ecological region