Scenarios of land use and land cover change in the conterminous United States: Utilizing the special report on emission scenarios at ecoregional scales

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Abstract

Global environmental change scenarios have typically provided projections of land use and land cover for a relatively small number of regions or using a relatively coarse resolution spatial grid, and for only a few major sectors. The coarseness of global projections, in both spatial and thematic dimensions, often limits their direct utility at scales useful for environmental management. This paper describes methods to downscale projections of land-use and land-cover change from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Special Report on Emission Scenarios to ecological regions of the conterminous United States, using an integrated assessment model, land-use histories, and expert knowledge. Downscaled projections span a wide range of future potential conditions across sixteen land use/land cover sectors and 84 ecological regions, and are logically consistent with both historical measurements and SRES characteristics. Results appear to provide a credible solution for connecting regionalized projections of land use and land cover with existing downscaled climate scenarios, under a common set of scenario-based socioeconomic assumptions. © 2012.

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Sleeter, B. M., Sohl, T. L., Bouchard, M. A., Reker, R. R., Soulard, C. E., Acevedo, W., … Zhu, Z. (2012). Scenarios of land use and land cover change in the conterminous United States: Utilizing the special report on emission scenarios at ecoregional scales. Global Environmental Change, 22(4), 896–914. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2012.03.008

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