CHRISTIANITY DAILY

Tropical Deforestation Could Have Devastating Effects On Global Rainfall Patterns

Forests
(Photo : Flickr / sashomasho / CC) A group of environmental researchers warned that tropical deforestation can significantly affect the predictability of rainfall patterns around the world.

A group of environmental researchers warned that tropical deforestation can significantly affect the predictability of rainfall patterns around the world, Science Daily reported.

The researchers also pointed out that the massive loss of trees due to man-made activities can contribute to the rise in global temperature.

The findings of the researchers were detailed in a study by lead author Deborah Lawrence, a professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia. The study was published by Nature Climate Change, an online journal that focuses on environment-related academic studies.

Lawrence and her team explained that aside from absorbing carbon dioxide and other types of harmful gases, forests act as regulators of atmospheric moisture. Trees do this by soaking up water from the ground and releasing it as moisture, according to Voice Chronicle.

This moisture is responsible for cooling down atmospheric temperature.

Without trees, the global temperature could rise by up to 0.7 degrees Celsius. This is what Lawrence and her team predicted if total deforestation occurs.

Lawrence noted that wiping out forests in Southeast Asia, Africa and South America can affect the weather patterns of various regions including the U.S., China and Europe.

"Most people know that climate change is a dangerous global problem, and that it's caused by pumping carbon into the atmosphere," she said in a statement.

"But it turns out that removing forests alters moisture and air flow, leading to changes - from fluctuating rainfall patterns to rises in temperatures - that are just as hazardous, and happen right away," she added.

Lawrence and her team pointed out that the increased temperature and sudden change in rainfall can paralyze the agricultural industry and affect the natural habitants of animals, Eco-Business reported.

The researchers were able to come up with their findings using computer-generated climate models. Although forests aren't at risk of being completely wiped out presently, Lawrence noted that it might happen soon if industrial activities that involves clearing large areas of trees and continue.

"While complete deforestation is unlikely to occur, over the course of history, deforestation has continued as countries develop," she said. "Further, this study fills gap in our understanding of deforestation tipping points - and what could happen if we continue down this path."

Tags Climate Change, Global Warming, Deforestation, Environment, Science

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