We publish a new article in Environmental Research Letters!
Central Taiwan's hydroclimate in response to land use/cover changeAbstract
Land use/cover change (LUCC) has taken place since the 1990s in central Taiwan; however, its impacts on the local and regional hydroclimatology are not understood thoroughly. This study is grounded in a numerical experiment using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and statistical assessments of continuous land cover and gridded precipitation data derived for central Taiwan. We incorporate survey-based land use data in 1995 and 2007 in driving WRF to simulate selective non-rainy and rainy (dry and wet) cases under weak synoptic forcings in July and August (JA). The two land-use conditions reveal changes in simulation fields on account of increased urban and built-up lands. Results averaged over the dry cases show increased (diminished) sensible heat fluxes and 2 m temperatures (latent heat fluxes and 2 m specific humidity) in 2007 compared to that in 1995. The wet-case simulation further identifies intensified precipitation over the downwind areas of urban and built-up lands, strongly subject to local topography and prevailing winds. Statistical assessments of the Landsat land cover and gridded precipitation data verify significant increasing trends in urbanization and the JA rainfall. Regression-based analysis that scales the effect of the LUCC on the change in precipitation corroborates the WRF simulation: LUCC has induced eastward, downwind association with the JA rainfall.