|Title||SENSITIVITY OF REGIONAL CLIMATE TO DEFORESTATION IN THE AMAZON BASIN|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1994|
|Authors||Eltahir, E. A. B. & Bras, R. L.|
|Journal||ADVANCES IN WATER RESOURCES|
Deforestation results in several adverse effects on the natural environment. The focus of this paper is on the effects of deforestation on land-surface processes and regional climate of the Amazon basin. In general, the effects of deforestation on climate are likely to depend on the scale of the deforested area. In this study, we are interested in the effects due to deforestation of areas with a scale of about 250 km. Hence, a meso-scale climate model is used in performing numerical experiments on the sensitivity of regional climate to deforestation of areas with that size. It is found that deforestation results in less net surface radiation, less evaporation, less rainfall, and warmer surface temperature. The magnitude of the change in temperature is of the order of 0.5-degrees-C, the magnitudes of the changes in the other variables are of the order of 10%. In order to verify some of the results of the numerical experiments, the model simulations of net surface radiation are compared to recent observations of net radiation over cleared and undisturbed forest in the Amazon. The results of the model and the observations agree in the following conclusion: the difference in net surface radiation between cleared and undisturbed forest is, almost, equally partitioned between net solar radiation and net long-wave radiation. This finding contributes to our understanding of the basic physics in the deforestation problem.