A New Excellent Paper- A Review Of Vegetation–Atmosphere Interactions And Their Influences On Mesoscale Phenomena

There is an excellent review paper that provides further documentation of the first-order role of land surface processes within the climate system. The paper is

McPherson,Renee A., 2007: A review of vegetation–atmosphere interactions and their influences on mesoscale phenomena.Progress in Physical Geography 31(3) DOI: 10.1177/0309133307079055

The abstract reads,

“Vegetation strongly influences exchanges of energy and moisture between land and
atmosphere through (1) the vegetation’s response to incoming radiation and its emission of longwave radiation (2) the vegetation’s physical presence, and (3) the plant’s transpiration. These processes affect the diurnal temperature range, processes in the atmospheric boundary layer, cloud cover, rainfall, differential heating, and atmospheric circulations. This paper overviews how vegetation interacts with surface energy and moisture budgets and reviews both observational and modelling studies that examine how vegetation affects weather and climate on the mesoscale (ie, phenomena 10s to 100s of kilometres in horizontal size).”

Among the conclusions, Dr. McPherson writes,

“The transformation of regional vegetation coverage to different land uses, especially the substitution of native forest with cropland, can result in local or regional climate changes as significant as those ascribed to the enhancement of atmospheric greenhouse gases by humans. Hence, it is important that scientists help policymakers put into perspective the consequences of various sources of weather modification.”

This important role of vegetation as a component of the climate system was recognized, for example, by the 2005 National Research Council Report titled Radiative Forcing of Climate Change: Expanding the Concept and Addressing Uncertainties , but was not appropriately reported on in the 2007 IPCC WG1 Report (i.e. see Chapter 8 and Chapter 9). Dr. McPherson has provided a very effective peer reviewed publication that documents an important climate change issue that the IPCC inadequately communicated to policymakers to policymakers.

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