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Open-File Report 2012–1155

National Climate Assessment Technical Report on the Impacts of Climate and Land Use and Land Cover Change

By Thomas Loveland, Rezaul Mahmood, Toral Patel-Weynand, Krista Karstensen, Kari Beckendorf, Norman Bliss, and Andrew Carleton

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (3.0 MB)Abstract

This technical report responds to the recognition by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and the National Climate Assessment (NCA) of the importance of understanding how land use and land cover (LULC) affects weather and climate variability and change and how that variability and change affects LULC. Current published, peer-reviewed, scientific literature and supporting data from both existing and original sources forms the basis for this report’s assessment of the current state of knowledge regarding land change and climate interactions. The synthesis presented herein documents how current and future land change may alter environment processes and in turn, how those conditions may affect both land cover and land use by specifically investigating,
• The primary contemporary trends in land use and land cover,
• The land-use and land-cover sectors and regions which are most affected by weather and climate variability,
• How land-use practices are adapting to climate change,
• How land-use and land-cover patterns and conditions are affecting weather and climate, and
• The key elements of an ongoing Land Resources assessment.
These findings present information that can be used to better assess land change and climate interactions in order to better assess land management and adaptation strategies for future environmental change and to assist in the development of a framework for an ongoing national assessment.

First posted July 30, 2012

For additional information contact:
Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
U.S. Geological Survey
47914 252nd Street
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57198

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Suggested citation:

Loveland, Thomas, Mahmood, Rezaul, Patel-Weynand, Toral, Karstensen, Krista, Beckendorf, Kari, Bliss, Norman, and Carleton, Andrew, 2012, National climate assessment technical report on the impacts of climate and land use and land cover change: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1155, 87 p.



1.0 Introduction

2.0 State of Knowledge

3.0 Recent Land-Use and Land-Cover and Climate Case Studies

4.0 A Regional and Sectoral Perspective of Climate and Land-Use and Land-Cover Interactions

5.0 A Design for an Ongoing Assessment of Climate and Land-Use and Land- Cover Impacts

6.0 Concluding Observations

7.0 References

Appendix A – Definitions of Major Terms

Appendix B. Land Cover Class Descriptions

Appendix C. 1973–2000 National Climate Assessment Southeast Region Change Statistics

Appendix D. 1973–2000 National Climate Assessment Northwest Region Change Statistics

Appendix E. 1973–2000 National Climate Assessment Great Plains Region Change Statistics

Appendix F. 1973–2000 National Climate Assessment Northeast Region Change Statistics

Appendix G. 1973–2000 National Climate Assessment Midwest Region Change Statistics

Appendix H. 1973–2000 National Climate Assessment Southwest Region Change Statistics

Appendix I. Summaries from Land-Use Land-Cover and Climate Case Studies

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