Climate simulation of the twenty-first century with interactive land-use changes

A. Voldoire, B. Eickhout, M. Schaeffer, J.F. Royer, F. Chauvin

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32 Citations (Scopus)


To include land-use dynamics in a general circulation model (GCM), the physical system has to be linked to a system that represents socio-economy. This issue is addressed by coupling an integrated assessment model, IMAGE2.2, to an ocean¿atmosphere GCM, CNRM-CM3. In the new system, IMAGE2.2 provides CNRM-CM3 with all the external forcings that are scenario dependent: greenhouse gas (GHGs) concentrations, sulfate aerosols charge and land cover. Conversely, the GCM gives IMAGE changes in mean temperature and precipitation. With this new system, we have run an adapted scenario of the IPCC SRES scenario family. We have chosen a single scenario with maximum land-use changes (SRES A2), to illustrate some important feedback issues. Even in this two-way coupled model set-up, land use in this scenario is mainly driven by demographic and agricultural practices, which overpowers a potential influence of climate feedbacks on land-use patterns. This suggests that for scenarios in which socio-economically driven land-use change is very large, land-use changes can be incorporated in GCM simulations as a one-way driving force, without taking into account climate feedbacks. The dynamics of natural vegetation is more closely linked to climate but the time-scale of changes is of the order of a century. Thus, the coupling between natural vegetation and climate could generate important feedbacks but these effects are relevant mainly for multi-centennial simulations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-193
JournalClimate Dynamics
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • atmosphere-biosphere model
  • cover change
  • tropical deforestation
  • vegetation dynamics
  • gcm simulation
  • carbon-cycle
  • scale
  • variability
  • sensitivity
  • impact

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