While ecologists have documented many examples of greenlash at small spatial scales, a gap has existed between ecological research and the questions and spatial scales of ecological policy. Research is starting to close bridge this gap.
Roger Pielke Sr. points to several New Papers on the Importance of Land Use/Land Cover Change on Climate on his Climate Science blog. These include one by my new McGill Geography colleague, Navin Ramankutty and several of his colleagues from SAGE at U Wisconsin. In the paper:
Ramankutty, Navin, Christine Delire, and Peter Snyder, 2006. Feedbacks between agriculture and climate: An illustration of the potential unintended consequences of human land use activities. Global and Planetary Change, in press, corrected proof available online.
Ramankutty and colleagues examine agricultural greenlash by estimating the impact land conversion from agriculture has had via feedbacks on climate on the ability of people to practice agriculture. They find that globally the change is minimal, but in specific regions the change is substantial (a result similar to what Line Gordon and colleagues found in their estimates of how agriculture has altered global green water flows).
Figure 4 in the paper shows areas where the suitability for agriculture (where 1 is max suitability and cross hatching indicates areas where changes appears to be statistically significant) has increased or decreased due to the impact of agricultural land use change on global climate.