A team from the University of Leeds and the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology found that for the majority of Earth's tropical land surface, air passing over extensive forests produces at least twice as much rain as air passing over little vegetation. In some cases these forests increased rainfall thousands of kilometers away.
By combining observational data with predictions of future deforestation, the researchers estimate that destruction of tropical forests would reduce rain across the Amazon basin by up to a fifth (21 per cent) in the dry season by 2050. The study is published today in Nature.
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