Climate Change - 3 of 9

Climate Change FAQs - 9 Found

How do changes in climate and land use relate to one another?

The link between land use and the climate is complex.  First, land cover, as shaped by land use practices, affects the global concentration of greenhouse gases. Second, while land use change is an important driver of climate change, a changing climate can lead to changes in land use and land cover. For example, farmers may shift from their customary crops to crops that will have higher economic return under changing climatic conditions -- and higher temperatures affect mountain snowpack and vegetation cover as well as water needed for irrigation. The understanding of the interactions between climate and land use change is improving but continued scientific investigation is needed.


"See also the USGS report entitled “National Climate Assessment Technical Report on the Impacts of Climate and Land Use and Land Cover Change,” in which section 2.2 describes land-use change and its effects on climate in the United States. 


Learn more: About USGS Climate and Land Use Change Programs.


Tags: Climate, Global Change, Warming