How Does Deforestation Contribute To The Greenhouse Effect

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How Does Deforestation Contribute To The Greenhouse Effect – Deforestation is the permanent removal of forests to convert land to other uses. Carbon is the fourth most abundant element in the universe. 1 The carbon cycle is the movement of carbon between different reservoirs on Earth. 2 It helps maintain a stable climate and carbon balance. 3 So how does deforestation affect the carbon cycle?

Our Earth has a closed carbon system. This means that the total amount of carbon never changes. However, the condition in which it is stored and the glass is constantly changing. 5

How Does Deforestation Contribute To The Greenhouse Effect

How Does Deforestation Contribute To The Greenhouse Effect

Most of our carbon is stored in rocks, minerals and sediments on the planet’s surface. The rest is found in the ocean, atmosphere, plants, soil and fossil fuels. 7 Carbon moves from one reservoir to another through various processes.

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For example, burning fossil fuels such as oil, coal or natural gas releases large amounts of stored carbon. It burns and turns into CO2, which enters the Earth’s atmosphere as a gas. As a result of human activity, CO2 levels in the atmosphere are higher than at any time in the last 800,000 years. 9

Trees and plants take CO2 from the atmosphere to make food through photosynthesis. 10 store carbon in their biomass or in the surrounding soil. When trees are cut and burned or left to rot, the stored carbon is released into the atmosphere as CO2. 11 CO2 is a greenhouse gas that traps heat and contributes to global warming. 12 Thus, destruction accounts for at least 10 percent of all human emissions. 13

Deforestation facilitates part of the carbon cycle and increases CO2 in the atmosphere. Cutting down trees prevents forests from absorbing additional carbon. So it blocks this side of the cycle and causes greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere to rise. Limiting deforestation limits this process and allows the remaining trees to offset the imbalance by removing carbon from the atmosphere.

Avoiding climate change depends on two shifts in the human carbon cycle. We need to move away from dirty fossil fuels that produce huge amounts of carbon and stop emitting so much greenhouse gas. Switching to clean energy sources like wind and solar can meet our energy needs without endangering the planet. At the same time, it is necessary to significantly reduce deforestation and improve existing forests by planting new trees. This helps the carbon cycle remove CO2 from the atmosphere and reduce the impact of global warming.

Deforestation Has Driven Up Hottest Day Temperatures, Study Says

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How Does Deforestation Contribute To The Greenhouse Effect

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Deforestation And Climate Change

In Europe, North America and Asia, the hottest day of the year has increased significantly since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, according to the research.

Studies show that deforestation has a two-fold effect on climate: First, deforestation releases CO2 into the atmosphere, which contributes to global warming; Second, its significant impact on the physical processes of the local climate – a net warming or cooling effect can occur on a large scale.

The combined effect of deforestation in some areas is such that by 1980 it contributed more to global warming than greenhouse gas emissions, according to the authors of Carbon Brief.

Research suggests that planting trees — through afforestation or afforestation — may be a way to prevent increases in daily maximum temperatures, the author adds.

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A new study published in Nature Climate Change assesses how deforestation affected temperatures on the nation’s hottest day from the beginning to the end of the industrial age.

Deforestation is a major human contributor to climate change. When forests are cut or burned, they release stored carbon. Removing trees also cuts an important carbon “loop” that absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere.

Since 1990, humans have cleared an estimated 129 million hectares of forest – the size of South Africa. Deforestation, along with other land uses, accounts for about 11% of global CO2 emissions each year. New research shows that deforestation accounted for 30% of CO2 emissions between 1861 and 2000.

How Does Deforestation Contribute To The Greenhouse Effect

Deforestation affects temperature through various physical processes. These effects occur at local and regional levels but can have global effects.

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One such process is evaporation, a term that describes the exchange of water between the Earth and the atmosphere.

As part of this process, forests absorb water from the soil through their roots and then release it into the atmosphere as moisture, which has a cooling effect on the air above. When trees are cut down, this cooling effect is lost.

When these physical processes are considered together with the effects of carbon emissions, it can be assumed that deforestation plays a “significant” role in increasing maximum temperatures, says lead author Dr. Quentin Lejeune. Lejeune is currently a researcher at Climate Analytics, a non-profit climate science and policy institute based in Berlin. Carbon in short:

“During the Industrial Age, many areas of the mid-latitudes—especially North America, modern-day Eastern Europe, and Russia—experienced high levels of deforestation. We found that this resulted in a significant increase in daily temperature on hot days.

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To investigate, the researchers used a suite of climate models to “recreate” the warmest daily temperatures between 1861 and 2000.

Their simulations looked at the effects of deforestation on daily warming temperatures, carbon emissions and physical processes. They also looked at several other factors that affect global temperature, including greenhouse gas emissions, aerosols and volcanic eruptions.

The results show that in regions where at least 15% of forest cover has been removed since the pre-industrial era, deforestation accounts for one-third of average annual warm-day temperatures. Lejeune says:

How Does Deforestation Contribute To The Greenhouse Effect

“Since deforestation occurred relatively early in the industrial era, we believe these processes have long been the largest contributors to summer warming in these regions. [This effect] was replaced by increased greenhouse gas concentrations in the second half of the 20th century.” .

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The map below shows deforestation in different regions of the world during today’s warmest temperatures (1981-2000) compared to pre-industrial conditions.

On the graphs, red is used to show a net increase in temperature on the hottest day of the year, while blue shows a net decrease. Boxes are used to highlight results for North America (left), Europe (center), and Asia (right).

Local effects of deforestation on temperature changes during the warmest days of the year (1981–2000) relative to preindustrial conditions. Color indicates regional temperature increase (red) and decrease (blue). Boxes show results for North America (left), Europe (middle), and Asia (right). Source: Lejeune et al. (2018)

The results show that deforestation in North America and Europe is greater for warmer daytime temperatures, Lejeune says.

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“In the central United States, we estimate that daily maximum temperatures on the hottest day of the year have increased by up to 1°C due to these processes.”

Studies show that massive deforestation occurred in both North America and Europe during the Industrial Revolution. For example, in the second half of the 19th century, in the United States, an average of 34 square kilometers of forest (pdf) was cleared every day to make way for settlement and agriculture.

However, some regions that have recently experienced significant deforestation, such as Brazil, have seen net declines in the hottest areas.

How Does Deforestation Contribute To The Greenhouse Effect

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