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date: 25 June 2022

Terrestrial Processes and Their Roles in Climate Changelocked

Terrestrial Processes and Their Roles in Climate Changelocked

  • Nathalie de Noblet-DucoudréNathalie de Noblet-DucoudréClimate and Environment Sciences Laboratory, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Paris-Saclay University
  •  and Andrew J. PitmanAndrew J. PitmanCentre of Excellence for Climate System Science, Australian Research Council


The land surface is where humans live and where they source their water and food. The land surface plays an important role in climate and anthropogenic climate change both as a driver of change and as a system that responds to change. Soils and vegetation influence the exchanges of water, energy and carbon between the land and the overlying atmosphere and thus contribute to the variability and the evolution of climate. But the role of the land in climate is scale dependent which means different processes matter on different timescales and over different spatial scales.

Climate change alters the functioning of the land with changes in the seasonal cycle of ecosystem growth, in the extent of forests, the melt of permafrost, the magnitude and frequency of disturbances such as fire, drought, … Those changes feedback into climate at both the global and the regional scales. In addition, humans perturb the land conditions via deforestation, irrigation, urbanization, … and this directly affects climatic conditions at the local to regional scales with also sometimes global consequences via the release of greenhouse gases.

Not accounting for land surface processes in climate modelling, whatever the spatial scale, will result in biases in the climate simulations.


  • Climate Systems and Climate Dynamics

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