Coupled of Land Cover Change and Climate in East Africa

Authors: Nafiseh Haghtalab*, Michigan State University, Nathan Moore, Michigan State University
Topics: Coupled Human and Natural Systems, Climatology and Meteorology, Agricultural Geography
Keywords: Climate Modeling, Land-Atmosphere Interactions, East Africa, Coupling, WRF
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: Download


Evidence from GLACE and other studies indicate that under certain circumstances land use change and land cover dynamics develop a coupled system with climate at regional scales. Coupling between spheres refers to the extent to which a process in one sphere impacts the state or processes in the other sphere. There are a lot of researches about quantifying coupling between single variables, but the knowledge about coupling at interfaces is very limited. The main goal of this research is to understand the degree to which the atmosphere responds to land surface anomalies, and how those processes self-amplify. Ultimately we seek to understand how human-induced changes in land cover might affect the local and regional climate in East Africa, particularly through landscape processes like soil moisture memory. Since equatorial Africa is a “hot spot” of large land-atmosphere coupling strength at the synoptic scale, it became the area of our interest. Here we will present results from using the WRF (Weather Research and Forecast model) version 3.9.1.1, to test landscape coupling three different -dry, wet, and normal- weather conditions out of CFS data, combined with two different land surface information out of MODIS land cover maps. We will use non-parametric scaling tests to identify feedback strengths and discuss the results of our coupling process. At the end, we will compare our results with other experiments such as GLACE to understand the extent to which the coupling results are model dependent, which can lead to bias the results.

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