Loss of Tropical Forests Reduces Rainfall
Deforestation can have a significant effect on tropical rainfall, new research confirms. The findings have potentially devastating impacts for people living in and near the Amazon and Congo forests. A team from the University of Leeds and the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology found that for the majority of the Earth’s tropical land surface, air passing over extensive forests produces at least twice as much rain as air passing over little vegetation. In some cases these forests increased rainfall thousands of kilometres away.
By combining observational data with predictions of future deforestation, the researchers estimate that destruction of tropical forests would reduce rain across the Amazon basin by up to a fifth (21%) in the dry season by 2050. The study is published in Nature.