Land use Changes and Atmospheric Chemistry


The effects of future land use and land cover change on the chemical composition of the atmosphere are largely unknown. Changes in land cover may have significant consequences for atmospheric composition. In the coming decades, increasing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations and the resulting climate change may have large impacts on global land cover [Bachelet et al., 2001, 2003; Cox et al, 2000, 2004; Cramer et al., 2001, 2004].

Land-use change is related to climate change as both a causal factor and a major way in which the effects of climate change are expressed. As a causal factor, land use influences the flux of mass and energy, and as land-cover patterns change, these fluxes are altered. Projected climate alterations will produce changes in land-cover patterns at a variety of temporal and spatial scales, although human uses of the land are expected to override many effects.
Rapid changes in ecosystems as a result of human activities, such as tropical deforestation, are of great relevance to climate and global change [Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005]. Scenarios of future anthropogenic land cover and land use suggest continued changes as a result of the increasing demand for food and (bio) energy. Several previous studies have indicated the interactions between global land cover, the carbon cycle, and the climate system.

Changes in land use pattern exerts tremendous pressure on the ground water resources and the surface water. Changes like forest areas and land under other land uses are diverted to cultivation can have a detrimental impact on sustainability of livelihood and extent of poverty which in turn impacts health and other human development indicators. It alters the composition of existing vegetation and hence interfere with the dynamics of natural ecosystem [Rao et al., 1997; Varghese et al., 2015]. Hence the analysis of anthropogenic developmental activities in relation to changing land use patten which includes desertification, partial degradation of natural ecosystem and depletion of natural resources.

There has been a rapid increase in croplands, plantations and urban areas in recent times which in turn puts enormous pressure on energy and water in addition to continuous loss of biodiversity. [Foley et al, 2005]. A major challenge that still exists in the studies pertaining to this area is the uncertainties involved with respect to quantitative analysis of the impact of land cover and land use changes on physical climate. Hence there is a need to conduct attribution studies if we want to give information regarding the changes in land use pattern on chemical composition of atmosphere.

We investigate how changes in land use and land cover driven by a) climate change, b) increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and c) anthropogenic land use change all perturb global atmospheric chemistry. Hence, our study also focuses on relation between the atmospheric water vapour, relative humidity, temperature, particulates and precipitation over global as well regional scale. Our research team are working with some international collaboration such as ECMWF, along with some national collaboration such as IITM Pune, and IMD on various research projects. Our research team main aim is to deliver better knowledge on land use land cover change impact on summer monsoon and atmospheric variables. Main motto of our team is to serve the society through scientific research work and we are doing that by reaching to them through publications in peer reviewed journals, seminars, workshops, social network, and also through both print and digital media.