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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 501014, 10 pages
Research Article

Simulated Effects of Cropland Expansion on Summer Climate in Eastern China in the Last Three Centuries

Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), 11A Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China

Received 18 July 2013; Accepted 15 September 2013

Academic Editor: Xiangzheng Deng

Copyright © 2013 Quansheng Ge et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To understand the effects of the land use/cover changes due to agricultural development on summer climate in Eastern China, four 12-year simulations using the WRF-SSiB model were performed. We found that agricultural development resulted in warming and rainy effects. In the middle to lower reaches of the Yellow River and the Yangtze River, the warming effects were approximately 0.6°C and resulted from increased surface net radiation and sensible heat fluxes. In Northeast China, the warming effects were very small due to increases in latent heat fluxes which resulted from the extensive conversion from grassland to cropland. The rainy effect resulted from increases in convective rainfall, which was associated with a warming surface in certain areas of the Yellow River and Yangtze River and a large increase in the surface moisture flux in Northeast China. Conversely, in the middle to lower reaches of the Yellow River and the Yangtze River, the grid-scale rainfall decreased because the climatological northward wind, which is moist and warm, was partially offset by a southward wind anomaly. These findings suggest that the agricultural development left footprints not only on the present climate but also on the historical climate changes before the industrial revolution.