19 Dec 2022
19 Dec 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

High-resolution land use and land cover dataset for regional climate modelling: Historical and future changes in Europe

Peter Hoffmann1,2, Vanessa Reinhart1,2, Diana Rechid1, Nathalie de Noblet-Ducoudré3, Edouard L. Davin4,5,6, Christina Asmus1,2, Benjamin Bechtel7, Jürgen Böhner8, Eleni Katragkou9, and Sebastiaan Luyssaert10 Peter Hoffmann et al.
  • 1Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon, Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS), Fischertwiete 1, 20095 Hamburg, Germany
  • 2Universität Hamburg, Institute of Geography, Section Physical Geography, Bundesstraße 55, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
  • 3Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environment, IPSL, Paris, France
  • 4Wyss Academy for Nature, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 5Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 6Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 7Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Department of Geography, Universitätsstraße 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany
  • 8Universität Hamburg, Institute of Geography, Cluster of Excellence “Climate, Climatic Change, and Society” (CLICCS), Bundesstraße 55, 20146, Hamburg, Germany
  • 9Department of Meteorology and Climatology, School of Geology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 10Amsterdam Institute for Life and Environment, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, 1081, The Netherlands

Abstract. Anthropogenic land-use and land cover change (LULCC) is a major driver of environmental changes. The biophysical impacts of these changes on the regional climate in Europe are currently extensively investigated within the WCRP CORDEX Flagship Pilot Study (FPS) LUCAS - "Land Use and Climate Across Scales" using an ensemble of different Regional Climate Models (RCMs) coupled with diverse Land Surface Models (LSMs). In order to investigate the impact of realistic LULCC on past and future climates, high-resolution datasets with observed LULCC and projected future LULCC scenarios are required as input for the RCM-LSM simulations. To account for these needs, we generated the LUCAS LUC dataset Version 1.1 at 0.1° resolution for Europe with annual LULC maps from 1950–2100 (Hoffmann et al., 2022b, a), which is tailored towards the use in state-of-the-art RCMs. The plant functional type distribution (PFT) for the year 2015 (i.e., LANDMATE PFT dataset) is derived from the European Space Agency Climate Change Initiative Land Cover (ESA-CCI LC) dataset. Details about the conversion method, cross-walking procedure and the evaluation of the LANDMATE PFT dataset are given in the companion paper by  Reinhart et al. (2022b). Subsequently, we applied the land-use change information from the Land-Use Harmonization 2 (LUH2) dataset, provided at 0.25° resolution as input for CMIP6 experiments, to derive LULC distribution at high spatial resolution and at annual timesteps from 1950 to 2100. In order to convert land use and land management change information from LUH2 into changes in the PFT distribution, we developed a Land Use Translator (LUT) specific to the needs of RCMs. The annual PFT maps for Europe for the period 1950 to 2015 are derived from the historical LUH2 dataset by applying the LUT backward from 2015 to 1950. Historical changes in the forest type changes are considered using an additional European forest species dataset. The historical changes in the PFT distribution of LUCAS LUC follow closely the land use changes given by LUH2 but differ in some regions compared to other annual LULCC datasets. From 2016 onward, annual PFT maps for future land use change scenarios based on LUH2 are derived for different Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) and Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) combinations used in the framework of the Coupled Modelling Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6). The resulting LULCC maps can be applied as land use forcing to the new generation of RCM simulations for downscaling of CMIP6 results. The newly developed LUT is transferable to other CORDEX regions world-wide.

Peter Hoffmann et al.

Status: open (until 02 Mar 2023)

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Peter Hoffmann et al.

Data sets

LUCAS LUC historical land use and land cover change dataset for Europe (Version 1.1) Hoffmann, Peter; Reinhart, Vanessa; Rechid, Diana

LUCAS LUC future land use and land cover change dataset for Europe (Version 1.1) Hoffmann, Peter; Reinhart, Vanessa; Rechid, Diana

Peter Hoffmann et al.


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Short summary
This paper introduces the new high-resolution land-use land-cover change dataset LUCAS LUC historical and future land use and land cover change dataset for Europe (Version 1.1), tailored for use in regional climate models. Historical and projected future land use change information from the Land-Use Harmonization 2 (LUH2) dataset is translated into annual plant functional type changes from 1950 to 2015 and 2016 to 2100, respectively, by employing a newly developed land use translator.