Climate responses to changes in Arctic land surface properties
Kim, Jinhyuk E.||Laguë, Marysa M.||Pennypacker, Sam||Dawson, Eliza||Swann,Abigail L.S.
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Arctic vegetation is known to influence Arctic surface temperatures through albedo. However, it is less clear how plant evaporative resistance and albedo independently influence surface climate at high latitudes. We use surface properties derived from two common Arctic tree types to simulate the climate response to a change in land surface albedo and evaporative resistance in factorial combinations. We find that lower evaporative resistances lead to an increase of low clouds. The reflection of light due to the difference in albedos between vegetation types is similar to the loss of incident sunlight due to increased cloud cover resulting from lower evaporative resistance from vegetation change. Our results demonstrate that realistic changes in evaporative resistance can have an equal impact on surface temperature to changes in albedo, and that cloud feedbacks play a first order role in determining the surface climate response to changes in Arctic land cover.