Indian Forum for Water Adroit

A dataset mapping the potential biophysical effects of vegetation cover change

Pankaj Dey

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  • Institute : Indian Institute of Science
  • Programming language : MATLAB, R
Changing the vegetation cover of the Earth has impacts on the biophysical properties of the surface and ultimately on the local climate. Depending on the specific type of vegetation change and on the background climate, the resulting competing biophysical processes can have a net warming or cooling effect, which can further vary both spatially and seasonally. Due to uncertain climate impacts and the lack of robust observations, biophysical effects are not yet considered in land-based climate policies. Here we present a dataset based on satellite remote sensing observations that provides the potential changes i) of the full surface energy balance, ii) at global scale, and iii) for multiple vegetation transitions, as would now be required for the comprehensive evaluation of land based mitigation plans. We anticipate that this dataset will provide valuable information to benchmark Earth system models, to assess future scenarios of land cover change and to develop the monitoring, reporting and verification guidelines required for the implementation of mitigation plans that account for biophysical land processes.

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