What does land use change have to do with global warming?



  1. 0 Votes

    The land use change with the singularly largest impact on climate change (global warming) is deforestation. Trees and other plants are a major sink for carbon dioxide, which means they uptake it from the atmosphere. When forests are razed for grazing, timber use, housing developments, agriculture, etc., the result is an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. And this effect is enhanced if the land use changes to something like grazing, so that in addition to the loss of a carbon dioxide sink, methane is now being emitted into the atmosphere. The loss of tropical forests also eventually has an effect on weather patterns; trees contribute to the water cycle by putting water back into the air, which eventually forms clouds and further blocks out the sun’s heat.

  2. 0 Votes

    Trees and vegetation also are a source of biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which they emit into the atmosphere, and are very reactive, especially in the presence of sunlight.  These biogenic VOCs are a precursor to both atmospheric aerosols and tropospheric ozone.  So, land use changes also impacts the chemistry of the given environment.

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