Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Study Shows Deforestation of Tropical Rainforest Decreases Precipitation

Deforestation can have many impacts including increases in un-sequestered carbon, and decreases in atmospheric oxygen, but according to new research loss of tropical rainforests can also significantly decrease rainfall. According to a new study titled, "Observations of increased tropical rainfall preceded by air passage over forests," the destruction of tropical forests could reduce rain across the Amazon basin by more than a fifth (21%) in the dry season by 2050.

This is the finding of researchers from the University of Leeds and the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Their study suggests that rainforests can double the amount of rainfall even in areas thousands of kilometres away.

Lead author Dr Dominick Spracklen from the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds said: “Our study implies that deforestation of the Amazon and Congo forests could have catastrophic consequences for the people living thousands of kilometres away in surrounding countries."

According to their data the more vegetation the air had traveled over, the more moisture it carried and more rain was produced.

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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