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Climatic effects of changes in radiative forcing due to clear-cutting in Sweden

Muzic, Iris LU (2019) In Student thesis series INES NGEM01 20191
Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Abstract
Land cover conversion affects climate by imposing changes in the surface properties and carbon dioxide fluxes. Forest management programs often disregard that modification in surface albedo influences the exchange of energy and climate sensitivity. By taking into account the role of vegetation in shaping the atmospheric circulation, forest harvesting not always leads to the warming of the climate. This study aims to determine the net climatic effect of clear-cutting in high-latitude regions by examining the importance of biogeophysical and biogeochemical climate drivers, albedo and carbon dioxide in Sweden.

Comparative analysis between forest and clear-cut sites on 56°, 60° and 64°N was performed in order to account for different... (More)
Land cover conversion affects climate by imposing changes in the surface properties and carbon dioxide fluxes. Forest management programs often disregard that modification in surface albedo influences the exchange of energy and climate sensitivity. By taking into account the role of vegetation in shaping the atmospheric circulation, forest harvesting not always leads to the warming of the climate. This study aims to determine the net climatic effect of clear-cutting in high-latitude regions by examining the importance of biogeophysical and biogeochemical climate drivers, albedo and carbon dioxide in Sweden.

Comparative analysis between forest and clear-cut sites on 56°, 60° and 64°N was performed in order to account for different climatic conditions at various latitudes. Data on shortwave incoming radiation, shortwave outgoing radiation and carbon dioxide release from clear-cutting was retrieved from the selected study sites and converted to comparable radiative forcing by albedo change and radiative forcing by carbon dioxide release from clear-cutting.

The findings reveal that the magnitude of the net radiative forcing by clear-cutting differs within high-latitudes. Although with a low confidence level due to the lack of available data, the outcome underlines results from previous studies by indicating that clear-cutting in northern Sweden might induce climate cooling but could also lead to climate warming in southern and central Sweden. (Less)
Popular Abstract
Anthropogenic land cover conversion affects climate by imposing changes in the surface properties and by enhancing carbon dioxide emission. In general, the political imperative is that afforestation and reforestation can counteract climate change because trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Consequently, forest management is seen as an opportunity for faster climate change mitigation induced by the utilisation of fossil fuels.

However, by taking into account the role of vegetation in shaping the atmospheric circulation, not all forest management practices mitigate climate change. Forest management programs often disregard that modifications in land cover influence the exchange of energy between the surface and the... (More)
Anthropogenic land cover conversion affects climate by imposing changes in the surface properties and by enhancing carbon dioxide emission. In general, the political imperative is that afforestation and reforestation can counteract climate change because trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Consequently, forest management is seen as an opportunity for faster climate change mitigation induced by the utilisation of fossil fuels.

However, by taking into account the role of vegetation in shaping the atmospheric circulation, not all forest management practices mitigate climate change. Forest management programs often disregard that modifications in land cover influence the exchange of energy between the surface and the atmosphere. Vegetation cover defines albedo, a ratio between reflected energy from the Earth’s surface and incoming energy from the Sun.

The aim of this study is to determine the net climatic effect of clear-cutting in high-latitude regions by examining the importance of climate drivers, albedo and carbon dioxide in Sweden. Comparative analysis of albedo change and carbon dioxide release due to clear-cutting is performed at three different latitudes, 56°, 60° and 64°N in Sweden.

The findings reveal that the magnitude of the net climatic effect of clear-cutting differs within high-latitudes. Although with a low confidence level due to the lack of available data, the outcome underlines results from previous studies by indicating that clear-cutting in northern Sweden might induce climate cooling but could also lead to climate warming in southern and central Sweden. Therefore, instrumental data on radiation and carbon dioxide fluxes should be recorded for a longer continuous time period to provide more accurate results. Given these points, this study implies that the albedo effect has an essential role in the estimation of the climatic effect of clear-cutting and should thus be incorporated in future forest management strategies. (Less)
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author
Muzic, Iris LU
supervisor
organization
course
NGEM01 20191
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, land-cover change, ICOS, albedo, carbon dioxide, radiative forcing, clear-cutting
publication/series
Student thesis series INES
report number
489
language
English
id
8990303
date added to LUP
2019-07-08 13:20:44
date last changed
2019-07-08 13:20:44
@misc{8990303,
  abstract     = {Land cover conversion affects climate by imposing changes in the surface properties and carbon dioxide fluxes. Forest management programs often disregard that modification in surface albedo influences the exchange of energy and climate sensitivity. By taking into account the role of vegetation in shaping the atmospheric circulation, forest harvesting not always leads to the warming of the climate. This study aims to determine the net climatic effect of clear-cutting in high-latitude regions by examining the importance of biogeophysical and biogeochemical climate drivers, albedo and carbon dioxide in Sweden.

Comparative analysis between forest and clear-cut sites on 56°, 60° and 64°N was performed in order to account for different climatic conditions at various latitudes. Data on shortwave incoming radiation, shortwave outgoing radiation and carbon dioxide release from clear-cutting was retrieved from the selected study sites and converted to comparable radiative forcing by albedo change and radiative forcing by carbon dioxide release from clear-cutting.

The findings reveal that the magnitude of the net radiative forcing by clear-cutting differs within high-latitudes. Although with a low confidence level due to the lack of available data, the outcome underlines results from previous studies by indicating that clear-cutting in northern Sweden might induce climate cooling but could also lead to climate warming in southern and central Sweden.},
  author       = {Muzic, Iris},
  keyword      = {Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science,land-cover change,ICOS,albedo,carbon dioxide,radiative forcing,clear-cutting},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Student thesis series INES},
  title        = {Climatic effects of changes in radiative forcing due to clear-cutting in Sweden},
  year         = {2019},
}