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A global team of scientists including researchers from The University of Western Australia and the United States has found deforestation in the Brazilian Amazaon-Cerrado region is causing temperatures to rise in areas as far as 50km away from deforestation sites.
Associate Professor Sally Thompson, from UWA's School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering and UWA Institute of Agriculture, said deforestation in Brazil mostly happened because farmers wanted to increase the land area they could farm.
Research - Impact - Temperatures - Deforestation - Farmers
"However, our research highlights the long-ranging impact on temperatures from deforestation and how farmers will benefit from forest conservation, which will help protect crops and stock from the worst of temperature extremes," Professor Thompson said.
The researchers analyzed satellite observations in the Amazon-Cerrado region to observe changes to forest cover and temperatures at more than 2000 sites between 2000 and 2015. They looked at how much the daily maximum temperature at a forested site would increase as the size of forest around it decreased. They also examined how far away from the area of deforestation temperatures would be affected.
Professor - Thompson - People - Climate - Change
Professor Thompson said although people thought of climate change as happening because of greenhouse gas emissions, changes in land cover, such as forest loss, also had dramatic effects.
"Tree cover stabilizes temperatures, because trees use water when they photosynthesize,...
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