Atmospheric disturbances caused by human modification of the landscape

Christopher P. Weaver, Roni Avissar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study documents significant atmospheric effects over the U.S. central plains caused by human modification of the landscape. Using observations and an atmospheric model, it is shown here that diurnal, thermally induced circulations occur during summer over a 250 × 250 km region in Oklahoma and Kansas. Furthermore, it is shown that the driving force behind these circulations is the landscape heterogeneity resulting from differential land use patterns, that such atmospheric phenomena are characteristic of surfaces with this type of heterogeneity and not limited to infrequent days when unusual wind or other meteorological conditions prevail, and that the net effect of these motions is significant, not only locally, but also at the regional and global scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-281
Number of pages13
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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