489 Vegetation–Climate Interactions in a Warming Climate over Asia

Tuesday, 14 January 2020
Hall B (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Guiling Wang, Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs, CT; and W. Liu and M. Yu

This study evaluates the future vegetation and climate changes in East Asia and how vegetation feedback may influence future climate based on ensemble approaches involving one regional climate-vegetation model driven with boundary conditions derived from multiple ESMs. Under RCP8.5 for the late 21st century, the model projects an increase of leaf area index (LAI) across most of the domain, consistent with observed past trend. Exceptions were found over Northeast China where the model projects a decrease of LAI and a shift of vegetation type from boreal needleleaf evergreen trees during the present-day climate to temperate broadleaf deciduous trees or grass by the end of the 21st century. This projected vegetation change results primarily from exacerbated heat stress during summer, and feeds back to the climate leading to a cooling effect during winter that offsets most of the GHG-induced warming in this region. The effects of vegetation feedback on precipitation is a significant dry signal in some models but the degree of model uncertainty is high. This study identifies the Northeast China as a region where vegetation-climate feedback plays an important role in shaping future climate changes.
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