Thursday, 17 January 2002: 10:45 AM
Impact of Land-Use Management Practices in Florida on the Regional Climate of South Florida and the Everglades
Since the early-1900s, South Florida, and particularly the Everglades region, has undergone extensive urbanization and land cover conversion to agriculture with associated manipulation of surface and ground water resources for agricultural uses, domestic water supply, and flood prevention. In this work, we present a series of mesoscale modelingexperiments using the Colorado State University Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) that have been designed to investigate the sensitivity of the regional climate of South Florida to these changes in the land-surface environment of Florida and the Everglades. Building upon the work of Pielke et al. (1999), highly detailed land cover classification datasets for 1900 and 1993 are used to produce otherwise identical seasonal integrations of the mesoscale model. The 1900 land cover data for south Florida represent reconstructed natural vegetation prior to human disturbances, while the contemporary (1992/93) data are derived from 30 meter LANDSAT TM data. We examine the changes in surface energy budget parameters, and associated changes inseasonal/regional precipitation patterns associated with the anthropogenic manipulation of land-use in South Florida. Key issues addressed in this work involve the relative impact of land-use change on seasonal climate under different large-scale climate regimes (such as those associated with the phase of the El Nino/ Southern Oscillation), and whether the continued manipulation of the Everglades environment isresulting in increased frequency and severity of drought in the South Florida Region.