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Contrasting Responses of Surface Heat Fluxes to Tropical Deforestation
  • Hung-Chen Chen,
  • Min-Hui Lo
Hung-Chen Chen
Department of Atmospheric Sciences, National Taiwan University
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Min-Hui Lo
National Taiwan University

Corresponding Author:minhuilo@ntu.edu.tw

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Deforestation alters the exchange of heat, moisture, and momentum between the Earth's surface and the atmosphere, which can significantly affect the surface energy balance and water budget. However, changes in surface heat fluxes in response to deforestation are diverse among multi-model simulations. Changes in surface heat fluxes may lead to further energy partitioning and different land-atmosphere interactions. This study explores factors that might cause different changes in surface fluxes under tropical deforestation. The mediating effect of the Bowen ratio on changes in turbulent surface fluxes in response to the removal of tropical rainforests is examined with the Community Earth System Model of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Different flux partitioning in the mean state of the Bowen ratio is associated with various flux changes under deforestation. When the mean Bowen ratio is smaller, deforestation tends to increase sensible heat fluxes and reduce latent heat fluxes. Our research further indicates that the simulated mean-state Bowen ratios in the Land Use Model Intercomparison Project model archive might modulate changes in surface heat fluxes that provide some clues for the land surface model developments.