Landscape Ecology

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 133-155

First online:

Influence of landscape structure on local and regional climate

  • R. A. PielkeAffiliated withDepartment of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University
  • , R. AvissarAffiliated withDepartment of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, Rutgers University

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This paper discusses the physical linkage between the surface and the atmosphere, and demonstrates how even slight changes in surface conditions can have a pronounced effect on weather and climate. Observational and modeling evidence are presented to demonstrate the influence of landscape type on the overlying atmospheric conditions. The albedo, and the fractional partitioning of atmospheric turbulent heat flux into sensible and latent fluxes is shown to be particularly important in directly affecting local and regional weather and climate. It is concluded that adequate assessment of global climate and climate change cannot be achieved unless mesoscale landscape characteristics and their changes over time can be accurately determined.


land use climate climate change land use alteration landscape patterns weather