Land use/land cover change dynamics and their effects on land surface temperature in the western region of the state of São Paulo, Brazil

Abstract

In recent years, the impacts associated with changes in land use and land cover (LULC) over natural processes have received attention. Examining these changes can assist in urban/rural planning activities, temperature change analysis, and environmental monitoring. Land surface temperature (LST) is one of the main physical parameters used to measure the impacts proportioned by LULC changes. Several studies have investigated the implications of LULC changes over LST variations using remote sensing data. However, this dynamic remains unknown in multiple environmentally important areas, like the western region of São Paulo state, Brazil, where one last remnant of the Atlantic Forest biome is located. This paper demonstrates that significant LST differences exist in distinct LULC classes. Results indicated that bare soil and pasture areas contribute to increasing LST values, while water bodies and arboreous vegetation attenuate them. As the LULC pattern changes, it reflects on both LST and air temperature. Over a 30-year analysis in the studied area, the LST increased 3.50 °C (0.117 °C per year). This multi-temporal analysis was based on four winter/autumn periods: 1987, 1997, 2007, and 2017, using images from Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper sensor for 1987 to 2007 and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager and Thermal Infrared Sensor sensors for 2017. A supervised classification was applied to create LULC maps for each period. These findings bring a multi-temporal environmental diagnosis to the region, which is important to optimize future environmental planning actions like the restoration of degraded areas. It is inferred that continuous monitoring of LULC dynamics is required to devise sustainable land use policies in favor of environmental protection and regional economic development.

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Correspondence to Ana Paula Marques Ramos.

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Carrasco, R.A., Pinheiro, M.M.F., Junior, J.M. et al. Land use/land cover change dynamics and their effects on land surface temperature in the western region of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Reg Environ Change 20, 96 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-020-01664-z

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Keywords

  • Multi-spectral and multi-temporal analyses
  • Sustainable land use policies
  • Environmental impact