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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 563673, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/563673
Research Article

Impacts of Land Use Change on the Regional Climate: A Structural Equation Modeling Study in Southern China

School of Public Administration, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China

Received 17 September 2014; Revised 17 February 2015; Accepted 23 February 2015

Academic Editor: Jinwei Dong

Copyright © 2015 Zhanqi Wang 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.

Abstract

With the frequent human activities operating on the earth, the impacts of land use change on the regional climate are increasingly perceptible. Under the background of the rapid urbanization, understanding the impacts of land use change on the regional climate change is vital and significant. In this study, we investigated the relationships between land use change and regional climate change through a structural equation model. Southern China was selected as the study area for its rapid urbanization and different structure of land use among its counties. The results indicate that the path coefficients of “vegetation,” “Urban and surrounding area,” and “other” to “climate” are −0.42, 0.20, and 0.46, respectively. Adding vegetation area is the main method to mitigate regional climate change. Urban and surrounding area and other areas influence regional climate by increasing temperature and precipitation to a certain extent. Adding grassland and forestry, restraining sprawl of built-up area, and making the most use of unused land are efficient ways to mitigate the regional climate change in Southern China. The results can provide feasible recommendations to land use policy maker.