3
$\begingroup$

Did human-caused deforestation impacted climate and rainfall patterns in the past? I'm asking this because I don't know much about the impact of forest cover loss and evapotranspiration on global climate.

$\endgroup$
3
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Are you only interested in past human-caused deforestation? Natural events (flooding, landslides, pests) can also cause deforestation. $\endgroup$
    – LShaver
    Aug 23 at 2:55
  • $\begingroup$ I'm interested in the relationship between forest cover, evapotranspiration and temperatures, I asked about man-made because I assume we had a bigger impact than natural events. $\endgroup$
    – Victor1995
    Aug 23 at 3:59
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The question is not if, but how much. Aside of affected VIS and thermal IR energy balance and water cycle, deforestation is equivalent to extra CO2 emission, that does affect global parameters. $\endgroup$
    – Poutnik
    Aug 23 at 12:10
2
$\begingroup$

Deforestation does impact climate change and rainfall patterns. A study in 2018 outlined some of the feedbacks, firstly the direct effect of releasing CO2. Changes in evapotranspiration from deforestation caused 33% of the observed increases in the temperature of the hottest days in regions with at least 15% deforestation. There can be a counter factor in that land albedo can change with deforestation, potentially reflecting more energy back to the sky.

The potential feedbacks are further developed in recent work on the Amazon. The direct feedbacks of deforestation on reducing rainfall were small relative to global changes, but cumulative effects can be large. There is no reason not to think that similar feedbacks will have operated in historical contexts.

$\endgroup$
2
  • $\begingroup$ So, it does increase the extremes, but does it increase the average annual temps? I asked about historical deforestation because large areas here in southeast Brazil used to be tropical/subtropical forests before the colonization that now have almost dissapeared and I wondered if this could have had an impact in local and global temperature annual averages. $\endgroup$
    – Victor1995
    Aug 24 at 1:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think the simple answer is yes, this could have changed local and regional climate. However quantifying the effect is hard. $\endgroup$
    – Andy M
    Aug 25 at 21:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.