Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2023-42
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2023-42
22 Dec 2023
 | 22 Dec 2023
Status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ESD and is expected to appear here in due course.

Effects of idealised land cover and land management changes on the atmospheric water cycle

Steven J. De Hertog, Carmen E. Lopez Fabara, Ruud van der Ent, Jessica Keune, Diego G. Miralles, Raphael Portmann, Sebastian Schemm, Felix Havermann, Suqi Guo, Fei Luo, Iris Manola, Quentin Lejeune, Julia Pongratz, Carl-Friedrich Schleussner, Sonia I. Seneviratne, and Wim Thiery

Abstract. Land cover and land management changes (LCLMCs) play an important role in achieving low-end warming scenarios through land-based mitigation. However, their effects on moisture fluxes and recycling remain uncertain although they have important implications for the future viability of such strategies. Here, we analyse the impact of idealised LCLMC scenarios on atmospheric moisture transport in three different ESMs: the Community Earth System Model (CESM), the Max Planck Institute Earth System Model (MPI-ESM) and the European Consortium Earth System Model (EC-EARTH). The LCLMC scenarios comprise of a full cropland world, a fully afforested world, and a cropland world with unlimited irrigation expansion. The effects of these LCLMCs in the different ESMs are analysed for precipitation, evaporation and vertically integrated moisture flux convergence to understand the LCLMC-induced changes in the atmospheric moisture cycle. Then, a moisture tracking algorithm is applied to assess the effects of LCLMCs on moisture recycling at the local (grid cell level) and the global scale (continental moisture recycling). Our results indicate that LCLMCs are generally inducing consistent feedbacks on moisture fluxes over land in all ESMs. Cropland expansion causes drying and reduced local moisture recycling in all ESMs, while afforestation and irrigation expansion generally cause wetting and increased local moisture recycling. However, the strength of this influence varies in time and space and across the ESMs and shows a strong dependency on the dominant driver: Some ESMs show a dominance of large scale atmospheric circulation changes while other ESMs show a dominance of local to regional changes in the atmospheric water cycle only within the vicinity of the LCLMC. Overall, these results corroborate that LCLMCs can induce large effects on the atmospheric water cycle and moisture recycling, but more research is needed to constrain the uncertainty of these effects within ESMs and better evaluate land-based mitigation strategies.

Steven J. De Hertog, Carmen E. Lopez Fabara, Ruud van der Ent, Jessica Keune, Diego G. Miralles, Raphael Portmann, Sebastian Schemm, Felix Havermann, Suqi Guo, Fei Luo, Iris Manola, Quentin Lejeune, Julia Pongratz, Carl-Friedrich Schleussner, Sonia I. Seneviratne, and Wim Thiery

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on esd-2023-42', Anonymous Referee #1, 29 Dec 2023
    • AC1: 'Comment on esd-2023-42', Steven De Hertog, 29 Jan 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on esd-2023-42', Arie Staal, 16 Jan 2024
    • AC1: 'Comment on esd-2023-42', Steven De Hertog, 29 Jan 2024
  • AC1: 'Comment on esd-2023-42', Steven De Hertog, 29 Jan 2024
    • RC3: 'Reply on AC1', Anonymous Referee #1, 01 Feb 2024
      • AC1: 'Comment on esd-2023-42', Steven De Hertog, 29 Jan 2024

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on esd-2023-42', Anonymous Referee #1, 29 Dec 2023
    • AC1: 'Comment on esd-2023-42', Steven De Hertog, 29 Jan 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on esd-2023-42', Arie Staal, 16 Jan 2024
    • AC1: 'Comment on esd-2023-42', Steven De Hertog, 29 Jan 2024
  • AC1: 'Comment on esd-2023-42', Steven De Hertog, 29 Jan 2024
    • RC3: 'Reply on AC1', Anonymous Referee #1, 01 Feb 2024
      • AC1: 'Comment on esd-2023-42', Steven De Hertog, 29 Jan 2024
Steven J. De Hertog, Carmen E. Lopez Fabara, Ruud van der Ent, Jessica Keune, Diego G. Miralles, Raphael Portmann, Sebastian Schemm, Felix Havermann, Suqi Guo, Fei Luo, Iris Manola, Quentin Lejeune, Julia Pongratz, Carl-Friedrich Schleussner, Sonia I. Seneviratne, and Wim Thiery
Steven J. De Hertog, Carmen E. Lopez Fabara, Ruud van der Ent, Jessica Keune, Diego G. Miralles, Raphael Portmann, Sebastian Schemm, Felix Havermann, Suqi Guo, Fei Luo, Iris Manola, Quentin Lejeune, Julia Pongratz, Carl-Friedrich Schleussner, Sonia I. Seneviratne, and Wim Thiery

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Short summary
Changes in land use are crucial to achieve lower global warming. However, despite their importance, the effects of these changes on moisture fluxes are poorly understood. We analyze land cover and management scenarios in 3 climate models involving cropland expansion, afforestation, and irrigation. Results show consistent influences on moisture fluxes, with cropland expansion causing a general drying and reduced local moisture recycling, while afforestation and irrigation show the opposite.
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