A research study conducted in the Brazilian Amazon reveals that deforestation significantly affects regional temperatures.
A recent study of the Brazilian Amazon has revealed that deforestation has a much larger effect on regional temperatures than previously thought. The study also suggests that preserving the forest would bring significant benefits to agricultural companies.
The findings have significant political ramifications as farmers in Amazonian regions have been at the forefront of deforestation, driven by the belief that expanding their land will lead to financial gain.
The latest study sheds light on the alternative perspective. It indicates that Mato Grosso, known for its agricultural production, is experiencing drought and intense heat, and could see a temperature increase of 0.5 degrees celsius by 2050 if deforestation continues at its current rapid pace.
On Monday, a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that deforestation in the Amazon can lead to warming up to 60 miles away (100km). The extent of deforestation directly correlates with an increase in temperature. This adds to the overall impact of climate change.
According to Dominick Spracklen from the University of Leeds, the typical tree can have a cooling impact equal to two to three 2.5kW air conditioners operating at maximum capacity for every hour of every day. This is achieved through a process called evapotranspiration, which is comparable to the sweat produced by humans to regulate body temperature. He also noted that this effect extends beyond what was previously known.
“He stated that we had speculated about this possibility, but the magnitude of it is greater than I had anticipated. As we continue to study, we are uncovering the significant advantages that forests provide to the surrounding areas. For agricultural workers, they bring cooler temperatures and increased precipitation. By quantifying these benefits, we hope to convince a wider audience to preserve forested regions.”
Numerous scientific studies are confirming the crucial role of the Amazon in regulating the local weather patterns. A recent study revealed that deforestation can significantly decrease rainfall even up to 125 miles from the forest. Another study on a larger scale concluded that the Amazon is closely linked to the South American monsoon and that further deforestation could lead to a 30% decrease in regional precipitation, posing serious threats to food production.
Previous research has mainly focused on the immediate effects of deforestation on heat, showing a direct relationship between the loss of trees and higher temperatures in the surrounding region. However, a recent study expanded on this by examining whether there is also a larger-scale warming impact. Through the use of satellite data and AI, the study revealed a 0.7C rise in temperature for every 10% decrease in forest cover within a 60-mile radius.
In regions where significant clearing has taken place, the effects are significant. The study concludes that deforestation in these areas leads to a more than four-fold increase in warming, which has severe implications for the remaining Amazon rainforest and its inhabitants.
Ed Butt, the primary writer, suggested that this should not be interpreted as a cause for concern, but rather as a helpful resource in promoting sustainable forest management. By decreasing the amount of deforestation, a significant portion of regional warming could be avoided. This presents a major opportunity and highlights the positive impact that reducing deforestation can have on local farmers. The key aspect is that regions and states, such as Mato Grosso, have the ability to choose their own paths and take control of their actions. This shift in power allows them to potentially lower their exposure to warming.