This paper analyzes how land use and land cover change (LULCC) affects temperature and humidity. The authors examined the differential effects of forest versus deforested land on temperature and humidity by comparing different land-cover models. One model simulated the total potential vegetation (“PotVeg”) that would cover Earth in the absence of human interference, while the other was based on historical data of land use changes that occurred over a recent five-decade period (“AllHist”).
They found that deforested lands in mid-latitudes (North America, Eurasia) in the AllHist model are warmer and drier compared to the same lands covered in forest in the PotVeg model. Specifically, “conversion of mid-latitude natural forests to cropland and pastures is accompanied by an increase in the occurrence of hot-dry summers from once-in-a-decade to every 2–3 years” [Findell 2017: 1]. “Based on these simulations, the conversion of forests to cropland is coincident with much of the upper central US and central Europe experiencing extreme hot, dry summers” [Findell 2017: 6].
Findell, Kirsten, et al., 2017, The impact of anthropogenic land use and land cover change on regional climate extremes, Nature Communications 8(989), https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-01038-w.