Interactions between land surface, forests and climate : regional modelling studies in the boreal zone

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http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-697-894-2
Title: Interactions between land surface, forests and climate : regional modelling studies in the boreal zone
Author: Gao, Yao
Contributor organization: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics, Division of atmospheric sciences
Climate Research Unit, Finnish Meteorological Institute
Helsingin yliopisto, matemaattis-luonnontieteellinen tiedekunta, fysiikan laitos
Helsingfors universitet, matematisk-naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, institutionen för fysik
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2016-10-04
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-697-894-2
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/166502
Thesis level: Doctoral dissertation (article-based)
Abstract: Interactions between the land surface and climate are complex as a range of physical, chemical and biological processes take place. Changes in the land surface or the climate can affect the water, energy and carbon cycles in the Earth system. This thesis discusses a number of critical issues that concern land-atmospheric interactions in the boreal zone, which is characterised by vast areas of peatlands, extensive boreal forests and a long snow cover period. Regional climate modelling and land surface modelling were used as the main tools for this study, in conjunction with observational data for evaluation. First, to better describe the present-day land cover in the regional climate model, we introduced an up-to-date and high-resolution land cover map to replace the inaccurate and outdated default land cover map for Fennoscandia. Second, in order to provide background information for future forest management actions for climate change mitigation, we studied the biogeophysical effects on the regional climate of peatland forestation, which has been the dominant land cover change in Finland over the last century. Moreover, climate variability can influence the land surface. Although drought is uncommon in northern Europe, an extreme drought occurred in the summer of 2006 in Finland, and induced visible drought symptoms in boreal forests. Thus, we assessed a set of drought indicators with drought impact data in boreal forests in Finland to indicate summer drought in boreal forests. Finally, the impacts of summer drought on water use efficiency of boreal Scots pine forests were studied to gain a deeper understanding of carbon and water dynamics in boreal forest ecosystems. In summary, the key findings of this thesis include: 1) the updated land cover map led to a slight decrease in biases of the simulated climate conditions. It is expected that the model performance could be improved by further development in model physics. 2) Peatland forestation in Finland can induce a warming effect in the spring of up to 0.43 K and a slight cooling effect in the growing season of less than 0.1 K due to decreased surface albedo and increased evapotranspiration, respectively. Corresponding to spring warming, the snow clearance day was advanced by up to 5 days over a 15-year mean. 3) The soil moisture index SMI was the most capable of the assessed drought indicators in capturing the spatial extent of observed forest damage induced by the extreme drought in 2006 in Finland. Thus, a land surface model capable of reliable predictions of regional soil moisture is important in future drought predictions in the boreal zone. 4) The inherent water use efficiency (IWUE) showed an increase during drought at the ecosystem level, and IWUE was found to be more appropriate than the ecosystem water use efficiency (EWUE) in indicating the impacts of drought on ecosystem functioning. The combined effects of soil moisture drought and atmospheric drought on stomatal conductance have to be taken into account in land surface models at the global scale when simulating the drought effects on plant functioning.
Subject: meteorology
Rights: Julkaisu on tekijänoikeussäännösten alainen. Teosta voi lukea ja tulostaa henkilökohtaista käyttöä varten. Käyttö kaupallisiin tarkoituksiin on kielletty.


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