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Local and teleconnected temperature effects of afforestation and vegetation greening in China

Abstract : Afforestation in China provides carbon sequestration and prevents soil erosion, but its remote impacts on climate in other regions via the coupling of forest energy fluxes with atmospheric circulation are largely unknown. Here, we prescribe inventory-based forest cover change and satellite-observed leaf area index from 1982 to 2011 in a coupled land-atmosphere model to simulate their biophysical climate effects. Both local and global surface air temperatures show a seasonal contrast in response to past vegetation cover expansion over China: a phenomenon we primarily attribute to a variation of seasonality of vegetation greening. A large cooling in spring results in concurrent decreases in geopotential height over China and zonal wind over Mongolia, causing a dipole structure in the upper troposphere over the Arctic. This accounts for ∼58% of simulated spring warming over the Russian Arctic and ∼61% of simulated spring cooling over the Canadian Artic. Our results imply that spring vegetation dynamics in China may affect climate in northern high latitudes.
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Yue Li, Shilong Piao, Anping Chen, Philippe Ciais, Laurent Li. Local and teleconnected temperature effects of afforestation and vegetation greening in China. National Science Review, Oxford Academic, 2020, 7 (5), pp.897-912. ⟨10.1093/nsr/nwz132⟩. ⟨hal-02873046⟩

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