AbstractSoutheast Asian tropical rain forests in the Maritime Continent are among the most important biomes in terms of global and regional water cycling. How land use and land cover change (LULCC) relating to deforestation and forest degradation alter the local hydroclimate over the island of Borneo is examined using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model with an appropriate land surface model for describing the influence of changes in the vegetation status on the atmosphere. The model was validated against precipitation data from Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite 3B42 measurements. A main novelty in this analysis is that the diurnal cycle of precipitation over the island, which is a dominant climatic characteristic of the Maritime Continent, was successfully reproduced. To clarify the impact of the LULCC on the precipitation regimes over the island, numerical experiments were performed with the model that demonstrated the following. Deforestation that generates high albedo areas, such as bare lands, would induce a reduction in precipitation because of reductions in evapotranspiration, convection, and horizontal atmospheric moisture inflow. On the other hand, a decrease in evapotranspiration efficiency without changing the surface albedo could increase precipitation due to an increase in convection and horizontal atmospheric moisture inflow in compensation for the decrease in evapotranspiration. In detail, on the Maritime Continent, through changes in the land surface heating process and land–sea breeze circulation, the LULCC would impact the amplitude of the diurnal precipitation cycle in each region as defined according to the distance from the coast, resulting in changes in the precipitation regimes over the island.
Journal of Hydrometeorology – American Meteorological Society
Published: Nov 8, 2017
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