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Abstract

Climate change, coupled with biofuels development and other factors may well be changing US land usage patterns. We use a spatial econometric approach to estimate the drivers of US land use transitions in recent years. We consider transitions between six major land uses: agricultural land, forest, grassland, water, urban, and other uses. To examine drivers, we use a two-step linearized, spatial, multinomial logit model and estimate land use transition probabilities. Our results indicate that climate change is a driver of land use change and that movements to and from agricultural land and grassland exhibit opposite responses with climate change portending a movement out of cropland into grassland. These results indicate that adaptation to climate change through land usage change is ongoing but with spatial dependence.

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