Major United States Land Use as Influenced by an Altering Climate: A Spatial Econometric Approach Academic Article uri icon


  • Climate and socioeconomic and policy factors are found to stimulate land use changes along with changes in greenhouse gas emissions and adaption behaviors. Most of the studies investigating land use changes in the U.S. have not considered potential spatial effects explicitly. We used a two-step linearized multinomial logit to examine the impacts of various factors on conterminous U.S. land use changes including spatial lag coefficients. The estimation results show that the spatial dependences have existed for cropland, pastureland, and grasslands with a negative dependence on forests but weakened in most of the land uses except for croplands. Temperature and precipitation were found to have nonlinear impacts on the land use shares in the succeeding years by exerting opposite effects on crop versus pasture/grass shares. We also predicted land use changes under different climate change scenarios. The simulation results imply that the southern regions of the U.S. would lose cropland shares with further severity under the business-as-usual climate scenarios, while the land use shares for pasture/grass and forest would increase in those regions. As land use plays an important role in the climate system and vice versa, the results from this study may help policymakers tackle climate-driven land use changes and farmers adapt to climate change.

published proceedings

  • LAND

altmetric score

  • 2.6

author list (cited authors)

  • Cho, S. J., & McCarl, B.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Cho, Sung Ju||McCarl, Bruce

publication date

  • May 2021


published in