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Weilin Liao, Xiaoping Liu, Elizabeth Burakowski, Dagang Wang, Linying Wang, and Dan Li

Abstract

While the significance of quantifying the biophysical effects of deforestation is rarely disputed, the sensitivities of land surface temperature (LST) to deforestation-induced changes in different biophysical factors (e.g., albedo, aerodynamic resistance, and surface resistance) and the relative importance of those biophysical changes remain elusive. Based on the subgrid-scale outputs from two global Earth system models (ESMs, i.e., the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Earth System Model and the Community Earth System Model) and an improved attribution framework, the sensitivities and responses of LST to deforestation are examined. Both models show that changes in aerodynamic resistance are the most important factor responsible for LST changes, with other factors such as albedo and surface resistance playing secondary but important roles. However, the magnitude of the contributions from different biophysical factors to LST changes is quite different for the two ESMs. We find that the differences between the two models in terms of the sensitivities are smaller than those of the corresponding biophysical changes, indicating that the dissimilarity between the two models in terms of LST responses to deforestation is more related to the magnitude of biophysical changes. It is the first time that the attribution of subgrid surface temperature variability is comprehensively compared based on simulations with two commonly used global ESMs. This study yields new insights into the similarity and dissimilarity in terms of how the biophysical processes are represented in different ESMs and further improves our understanding of how deforestation impacts on the local surface climate.

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John L. Campbell, Lindsey E. Rustad, Sarah Garlick, Noah Newman, John S. Stanovick, Ian Halm, Charles T. Driscoll, Brian L. Barjenbruch, Elizabeth Burakowski, Steven D. Hilberg, Kristopher J. Sanders, Jason C. Shafer, and Nolan J. Doesken

Abstract

Ice storms are important winter weather events that can have substantial environmental, economic, and social impacts. Mapping and assessment of damage after these events could be improved by making ice accretion measurements at a greater number of sites than is currently available. There is a need for low-cost collectors that can be distributed broadly in volunteer observation networks; however, use of low-cost collectors necessitates understanding of how collector characteristics and configurations influence measurements of ice accretion. A study was conducted at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire that involved spraying water over passive ice collectors during freezing conditions to simulate ice storms of different intensity. The collectors consisted of plates composed of four different materials and installed horizontally; two different types of wires strung horizontally; and rods of three different materials, with three different diameters, and installed at three different inclinations. Results showed that planar ice thickness on plates was 2.5–3 times as great as the radial ice thickness on rods or wires, which is consistent with expectations based on theory and empirical evidence from previous studies. Rods mounted on an angle rather than horizontally reduced the formation of icicles and enabled more consistent measurements. Results such as these provide much needed information for comparing ice accretion data. Understanding of relationships among collector configurations could be refined further by collecting data from natural ice storms under a broader range of weather conditions.

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