Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 428078
Title Modelled suppression of boundary-layer clouds by plants in a CO2-rich atmosphere
Author(s) Vilà-Guerau de Arellano, J.; Heerwaarden, C.C. van; Lelieveld, J.
Source Nature geoscience 5 (2012). - ISSN 1752-0894 - p. 701 - 704.
Department(s) Meteorology and Air Quality
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2012
Keyword(s) soil-moisture - co2 - climate - feedbacks
Abstract Cumulus clouds in the atmospheric boundary layer play a key role in the hydrologic cycle, in the onset of severe weather by thunderstorms and in modulating Earth’s reflectivity and climate1. How these clouds respond to climate change, in particular over land, and how they interact with the carbon cycle are poorly understood2,3. It is expected that as a consequence of rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations the plant stomata will close4,5, leading to lower latent heat fluxes and higher sensible heat fluxes. Here we show that this causes a decline in boundary-layer cloud formation in middle latitudes. This could be partly counteracted by the greater ability of a warmer atmosphere to take up water and by a growth in biomass due to CO2 fertilization6. Our results are based on a new soil–water–atmosphere–plant model supported by comprehensive observational evidence, from which we identify the dominant atmospheric responses to plant physiological processes. They emphasize the intricate connection between biological and physical aspects of the climate system and the relevance of short-term and small-scale processes in establishing this connection.
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