Deforestation Climate Risk Bigger Than Carbon

Deforestation

Peer-reviewed report says that clearing tropical rainforests distorts Earth’s wind and water systems and has impacts far beyond the implications for carbon dioxide. Farmers and food supply potentially at risk as global warming and skewed rainfall could wreak havoc with crops—from coffee to corn—in world’s breadbaskets

“A new study presents powerful evidence that clearing trees not only spews carbon into the atmosphere, but also triggers major shifts in rainfall and increased temperatures worldwide that are just as potent as those caused by current carbon pollution. Further, the study finds that future agricultural productivity across the globe is at risk from deforestation-induced warming and altered rainfall patterns.

“The report, “Effects of Tropical Deforestation on Climate Change and Agriculture,” published today in Nature Climate Change and released in collaboration with Climate Focus provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of the climate impacts of tropical forest destruction on agriculture in the tropics and thousands of miles away. Specifically, the study finds that deforestation in South America, Southeast Asia and Africa may alter growing conditions in agricultural areas in the tropics and as far away as the US Midwest, Europe and China.”  Source: www.reportingclimatescience.com

GR:  This research is bad news for Earth ecosystems.  As with invasive plants, deforestation is having a more immediate impact than CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere.  The human impact has many facets, but its root is human population growth.  Construction, invasive species, deforestation, toxic chemicals, and greenhouse gas are all increasing along with our population.

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