This paper documents that landscape change is a regional first oder climate forcing in the United States. For more recent studies on this subject from our research group (see).
Copeland, J.H., R.A. Pielke, and T.G.F. Kittel, 1996: Potential climatic impacts of vegetation change: A regional modeling study. J. Geophys. Res., 101, 7409-7418.
The abstract reads
“The human species has been modifying the landscape long before the development of modern agrarian techniques. Much of the land area of the conterminous United States is currently used for agricultural production. In certain regions this change in vegetative cover from its natural state may have led to local climatic change. A regional climate version of the Colorado State University Regional Atmospheric Modeling System was used to assess the impact of a natural versus current vegetation distribution on the weather and climate of July 1989. The results indicate that coherent regions of substantial changes, of both positive and negative sign, in screen height temperature, humidity, wind speed, and precipitation are a possible consequence of land use change throughout the United States. The simulated changes in the screen height quantities were closely related to changes in the vegetation parameters of albedo, roughness length, leaf area index, and fractional coverage.”