Causes of Regional Change—Land Cover

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


Anthropogenic land-cover change (ALCC) is one of the few climate forcings for which the net direction of the climate response over the last two centuries is still not known. The uncertainty is due to the often counteracting temperature responses to the many biogeophysical effects and to the biogeochemical versus biogeophysical effects. Palaeoecological studies show that the major transformation of the landscape by anthropogenic activities in the southern zone of the Baltic Sea basin occurred between 6000 and 3000/2500 cal year BP. The only modelling study of the biogeophysical effects of past ALCCs on regional climate in north-western Europe suggests that deforestation between 6000 and 200 cal year BP may have caused significant change in winter and summer temperature. There is no indication that deforestation in the Baltic Sea area since AD 1850 would have been a major cause of the recent climate warming in the region through a positive biogeochemical feedback. Several model studies suggest that boreal reforestationReforestationmight not be an effective climate warming mitigation tool as it might lead to increased warming through biogeophysical processes.


  • Marie-José Gaillard
  • Thomas Kleinen
  • Patrick Samuelsson
  • Anne Birgitte Nielsen
  • Johan Bergh
  • Jed Kaplan
  • Anneli Poska
  • Camilla Sandström
  • Gustav Strandberg
  • Anna-Kari Trondman
  • Anna Wramneby
External organisations
  • Linnaeus University
  • Max Planck Institute for Meteorology
  • Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute
  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå
  • University of Lausanne
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSecond Assessment of Climate Change for the Baltic Sea Basin
EditorsThe BACC II Author Team
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-16006-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-16006-1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch

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