Biophysical Effects of Paddy Rice Expansion on Land Surface Temperature in Northeastern Asia

The pending extensive rice expansion in northeastern Asia, especially in northeast China, affects regional climate by altering both biogeochemical and biophysical processes. While the biogeochemical effects (e.g., CO2, CH4) of rice expansion have attracted plenty of attention, its biophysical effects have not been well documented, especially its influences on diurnal and seasonal land surface temperature (LST). In this study, we used a pair-wise comparison approach to examine biophysical effects of paddy rice expansion at different temporal scales (diurnal and seasonal) in northeast China, based on satellite-derived biophysical proxies and a high-resolution crop map in 2017. We found that the daily mean LST of rice paddies was 0.5 °C lower than that of corn and soybean fields during the growing season (from May to September), as a result of daytime cooling (-1.8 and -2.0 °C) and nighttime warming (0.8 and 1.1 °C), which subsequently led to a narrower diurnal LST range (-2.6 and -3.0 °C) than in upland crops (i.e. corn and soybean). The cooling effects were stronger in the early period of the growing season (May and June) than in the late season (July to September). Using a temperature response model, we found that the nonradiative processes (i.e., evapotranspiration and sensible heat) dominated the LST response in paddy rice, while the radiative process (i.e., albedo) played a secondary role. The daytime cooling and nighttime warming implies that we need to consider the unsymmetrical diurnal LST dynamics when evaluating the short-term effects of paddy rice expansion. Stronger cooling effects in the early growing season has to be accounted for when modeling its biophysical impacts at seasonal scale. This study explained the local climate effects of rice expansion through the biophysical mechanism with both radiative and nonradiative controls on the surface energy balance, which can contribute to improved modeling of biophysical effects of land use change.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Last Updated August 7, 2023, 15:07 (UTC)
Created August 7, 2023, 15:06 (UTC)