Study Examines Regional Atmospheric Effects of Contemporary Deforestation in the Amazon Rain Forest

Dec. 2, 2014

A new study coauthored by AOS Graduate Student Jaya Khanna and AOS Faculty Member David Medvigyinvestigates the effects of Amazonian deforestation on regional hydroclimate. This numerical study shows that contemporary scale deforestation in the southern parts of the Brazilian Amazon can result in an increase in convective activity and cloudiness. The authors find that contemporary scales of deforestation can result in increase in humid conditions in the downwind deforested areas, whereas suppression of cloudiness in the upwind deforested areas. Differences in vegetation height between forested and deforested regions are found to rigger this hydroclimatic effect. This unique convective regime can have implications for climate impact studies of near future deforestation in the Amazon.  The study was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres.