To date, over 50% of the Brazilian Cerrado has been cleared predominantly for 11 agropastoral purposes. Here, we use the Weather Research and Forecasting model to run 15- 12 year climate simulations across Brazil with six land-cover scenarios: 1) before extensive land 13 clearing; 2) observed in 2016; 3) Cerrado replaced with single-cropped (soy) agriculture; 4) 14 Cerrado replaced with double-cropped (soy-maize) agriculture; 5) eastern Amazon replaced 15 with single-cropped agriculture; and 6) eastern Amazon replaced with double-cropped 16 agriculture. All land-clearing scenarios (2-6) contain significantly more growing season days 17 with temperatures that exceed critical temperature thresholds for maize. Evaporative fraction 18 significantly decreases across all land-clearing scenarios. Altered weather reduces maize yields 19 between 6–8%, when compared to the before extensive land clearing scenario; however, soy 20 yields were not significantly affected. Our findings provide evidence that land clearing has 21 degraded weather in the Brazilian Cerrado, undermining one of the main reasons for land 22 clearing: rainfed crop production.
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Spera, Stephanie A., Jonathan M. Winter, and Trevor F. Partridge. “Brazilian Maize Yields Negatively Affected by Climate After Land Clearing.” Nature Sustainability 3, no. 10 (October 2020): 845–52. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-020-0560-3.