We have submitted a new (invited) paper that summarizes the current understanding of land use/land cover change on the climate system. The paper is currently under review. Readers who see important papers on this topic that we have inadvertantly left out, please e-mail me that information, as we could, as appropriate, incorporate in when we receive the reviews back.
Pielke Sr., R.A., A. Pitman, D. Niyogi, R. Mahmood, C. McAlpine, F. Hossain, K. Goldewijk, U. Nair, R. Betts, S. Fall, M. Reichstein, P. Kabat, and N. de Noblet-Ducoudré, 2011: Land use/land cover changes and climate: Modeling analysis and observational evidence. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, Invited paper, submitted.
The abstract of the paper reads
“Our paper summarizes the changes in landscape structure due to human land management over the least several centuries, and using observed and modeled data, documents how these changes have altered biogeophysical and biogeochemical surface fluxes on the local, mesoscale, and regional scales. Remaining research issues are presented including whether these landscape changes alter large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns remote from where the land use and land cover changes occur. We conclude that existing climate assessments have not yet adequately factored in this climate forcing. For those regions that have undergone intensive human landscape change, or will undergo intensive change in the future, we conclude that the failure to factor in this forcing risks a misalignment of investment in climate mitigation and adaptation.”