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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2019-23
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2019-23
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 25 Feb 2019

Research article | 25 Feb 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Science Data (ESSD).

Annual Dynamics of Global Land Cover and its Long-term Changes from 1982 to 2015

Han Liu1, Peng Gong1,2, Jie Wang2,3, Nicholas Clinton4, Yuqi Bai1, and Shunlin Liang5,6 Han Liu et al.
  • 1Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China
  • 2AI for Earth Lab, Cross-Strait Institute, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China
  • 3State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China
  • 4Google LLC, 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043 USA
  • 5Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 USA
  • 6School of Remote Sensing Information Engineering, Wuhan University, Wuhan, 430072, China

Abstract. Land cover (LC) is an important terrestrial variable and key information for understanding the interaction between human activities and global change. As the cause and result of global environmental change, land cover change (LCC) influences the global energy balance and biogeochemical cycles. Continuous and dynamic monitoring of global LC is urgently needed. Effective monitoring and comprehensive analysis of LCC at the global scale is rare. Using the latest version of GLASS (The Global Land Surface Satellite) CDRs (Climate Data Records) from 1982 to 2015, we built the first set of CDRs to record the annual dynamics of global land cover (GLASS-GLC) at 5 km resolution using the Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform. Compared to earlier global LC products, GLASS-GLC is characterized by high consistency, more detailed classes, and longer temporal coverage. The average overall accuracy is 85 %. We implemented a systematic uncertainty analysis at the global scale. In addition, we carried out a comprehensive spatiotemporal pattern analysis. Significant changes and patterns at various scales were found, including deforestation and agricultural land expansion in the tropics, afforestation and forest expansion in northern high latitudes, land degradation in Asian grassland and reclamation in northeast China, etc. A global quantitative analysis of human factors showed that the average human impact level in areas with significant LCC was about 25.49 %. The anthropogenic influence has a strong correlation with the noticeable Earth greening. Based on GLASS-GLC, we can conduct long-term LCC analysis, improve our understanding of global environmental change, and mitigate its negative impact. GLASS-GLC will be further applied in Earth system modeling in order to facilitate research on global carbon and water cycling, vegetation dynamics and climate change. The data set presented in this article is published in the Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) at https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.898096. The data set includes 34 TIFF files and one instruction doc file.

Han Liu et al.
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Annual Dynamics of Global Land Cover and its Long-term Changes from 1982 to 2015 H. Liu, P. Gong, J. Wang, N. Clinton, Y. Bai, and S. Liang https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.898096

Han Liu et al.
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Short summary
We built the first set of 5 km resolution CDRs to record the annual dynamics of global land cover (GLASS-GLC) from 1982 to 2015. The average overall accuracy is 85 %. By conducting long-term change analysis, significant land cover changes and spatiotemporal patterns at various scales were found, which can improve our understanding of global environmental change and help achieve the sustainable development goals. It will be further applied in Earth system modeling to facilitate relevant studies.
We built the first set of 5 km resolution CDRs to record the annual dynamics of global land...
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