'Without the forest cover we have now, the planet would be hotter and the weather more extreme'
Forests are key in tackling climate crisis
AP Photo/Olivier Asselin - Visitors walking along a series of bridges suspended some 100 feet in the air over the treetops in Kakum National Park, Ghana, August 24, 2008.

The world’s forests do more in tackling the climate crisis than previously thought, a new study found, by keeping the air cool and moist due to how they transform energy and water.

It is well established that the role of forests is to store carbon, but new data suggests that they are far more beneficial for our climate, The Guardian reported.

Researchers from the United States and Colombia found that forests keep the planet at least 33 degrees Fahrenheit cooler, particularly those spanning Latin America, central Africa, and Southeast Asia.

In the tropics – from Brazil and Guatemala to Chad, Cameroon, and Indonesia – forests cool the environment by more than 33 degrees, according to The Unseen Effects of Deforestation: Biophysical Effects on Climate.

 

“Trees are still viewed just as sticks of carbon by many policymakers in the climate change arena,” said study co-author Louis Verchot, a scientist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture.

“Forests are key to mitigation, but also adaptation.”

Forest cooling is due to a range of biophysical and biochemical factors, including deep roots, efficient water use, and so-called canopy roughness that all mitigate the impact of extreme heat, The Guardian reported.

Published in the Frontiers in Forests and Global Change journal, the findings suggested that forests are also important for protecting Earth from droughts, extreme heat, and floods

“Without the forest cover we have now, the planet would be hotter and the weather more extreme,” said study co-author Michael Coe.

“Forests provide us defense against the worst-case global warming scenarios.”

 

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A ali alouach

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6 months ago

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