Environmental Protection

Research Confirms Loss of Tropical Forests Reduces Rain

"Our study implies that deforestation of the Amazon and Congo forests could have catastrophic consequences for the people living thousands of kilometers away in surrounding countries," said lead author Dr. Dominick Spracklen.

According to a recent study, deforestation can have a drastic effect on tropical rainfall in the Amazon and Congo forests. Utilizing a combination of observational data and predictions of future deforestations, researchers believe that deforestation will reduce rain by 21 percent in the dry season by 2050.

The team from the University of Leeds and the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology found that for the majority of land surface, air passing over plentiful vegetation produces at least twice as much rain as when it passes over depletion. Published in Nature, the study also found that in some cases, the presence of these tropical forests increased rainfall for thousands of miles away.

Lead author Dr. Dominick Spracklen emphasized the potential devastating effects deforestation can have. "Our study implies that deforestation of the Amazon and Congo forests could have catastrophic consequences for the people living thousands of kilometers away in surrounding countries," he said.

Dr. Stephen Arnold from the University of Leeds, a co-author of the paper, looked to the future. "This has significant implications for how policy-makers should consider the environmental impacts of deforestation, since its effects on rainfall patterns may be felt not only locally, but on a continental scale," he noted.

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