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Impact of vegetation on land-atmosphere coupling strength and its implication for desertification mitigation over East Asia

Title
Impact of vegetation on land-atmosphere coupling strength and its implication for desertification mitigation over East Asia
Authors
Myoung B.Choi Y.-S.Choi S.-J.Park S.K.
Ewha Authors
박선기최용상명복순
SCOPUS Author ID
박선기scopus; 최용상scopus
Issue Date
2012
Journal Title
Journal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres
ISSN
0148-0227JCR Link
Citation
vol. 117, no. 12
Indexed
SCOPUS WOS scopus
Abstract
Desertification of the East Asian drylands and the consequent dust transport have been serious concerns for adjacent Asian countries as well as the western United States. Tree planting has been considered one applicable strategy to mitigate the desertification. However, the desired effect of the tree planting would not be brought to fruition unless the newly planted trees change the coupling characteristics between the land and the atmosphere. Based on this perception, we attempt to clarify the effects of vegetation on the coupling strength between the atmosphere and land surface, and we suggest the most efficient areas of tree planting for desertification mitigation in East Asia. Using regional vegetation-atmosphere coupled model simulations, coupling strength with and without vegetation was computed and compared with each other. An increased vegetation fraction reduces the coupling strength in June, July, and August (JJA), primarily due to decreased evapotranspiration variability. This effect is pronounced over the Manchurian Plains and the highly populated areas of Beijing and Tianjin. The reduced coupling strength tends to weaken feedback between soil moisture and precipitation as a maintenance mechanism of warm season droughts in the midlatitudes and subsequently decrease the probability of droughts, a finding that is reflected in the enhanced JJA mean soil moisture. However, some drylands like the eastern edges of the Gobi desert present marginal or even opposite changes in coupling strength, meaning a limited effect of vegetation on relieving droughts. Therefore, given limited financial and human resources, acupuncture-like afforestation, i.e., concentrated tree planting in a particular region where the coupling strength can be substantially reduced by vegetation, is an effective strategy to secure long-standing desertification mitigation. © 2012 American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
DOI
10.1029/2011JD017143
Appears in Collections:
엘텍공과대학 > 환경공학전공 > Journal papers
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