Researchers have discovered that rainforest deforestation leads to dramatically reduced rainfall in the areas affected, with predictions that rain could decrease by 21% in the Amazon Basin alone by 2050 if current deforestation rates continue.
The scientists working on the project found that air passing over forest vegetation naturally produces twice the amount of rain than air passing over sparser ground. In some recorded cases, rainfall many thousands of miles away was being linked to the rainforests. The implications suggest that a failure to protect the rainforest and to continue logging and destruction activities will seriously reduce the amount of rainfall in both the surrounding areas and further afield.
The study suggested that the Congo and Amazon rainforests could be amongst the most affected, with severe consequences for communities living in the surrounding regions.
Scientists have been debating whether vegetation leads to increased rainfall for many years, with unclear results between the link of quantity of rain and its geographic reach. These results will show conclusively that rainforest preservation projects must be prioritised by governments and corporations alike.
The leading researcher on the project, Dr Spracklen, pointed to the positive efforts by the Brazilian government to slow down the rates of historically high deforestation throughout the Amazon, adding that the results of his team’s study showed that such efforts must continue. Certainly, rainforests once covered around 14% of the earth’s surface and now they cover just 6%, with 1.5 acres being lost each second to logging companies. There is certainly plenty of scope for improvement and projects such as these provide activists and decision-makers with plenty of compelling evidence to push for positive changes, to preserve our planet’s future. We’re pleased to hear that the results of these studies will help to further the cause of rainforest protection and encourage further efforts to save the rainforest.