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More Trees May Add To Global Warming Than Help Reduce It, Says Study – India Times

We often read that to combat climate change and global warming, one needs to planet trees to enable more conversion of carbon dioxide into oxygen and help make the planet colder. 

global warming Pexels

However, now researchers have found that having too much of a dense cover also contributes to more absorption of sunlight which in-turn contributes to the warming of the planet’s temperature. This, according to the researchers is called the ‘albedo effect’.

This is according to a study published in Science Advances. They discovered that for approximately one-fourth of the US, forest loss causes a persistent net cooling because the albedo effect outweighs the carbon effect. They also found that loss of forests near the Mississippi River and on the Pacific Coast have contributed to planetary warming, while forest loss in the Intermountain and Rocky Mountain West has actually contributed to the cooling of the planet. 

Researchers used a state-of-the-art satellite remote sensing to populate a detailed, observational perspective in order to examine the issue. Researchers looked at locations of forest loss and find out what those sites turned into — either an urban area, agricultural area, grassland, shrubland pasture etc. 

Post this, they quantified the amount of biomass released in the atmosphere and how much sunlight was reflected. Looking at these two effects, they calculated the net impact of deforestation on climate change. 

green cover climate change impact Reuters

They discovered that the net climate impact of a full 15 years of forest losses amounts to about 17 percent of a single year of U.S. fossil fuel emissions.

Professor Christopher Williams, one of the lead researchers from Clark University explained, “We found that in some parts of the country like the Intermountain West, more forest actually leads to a hotter planet when we consider the full climate impacts from both carbon and albedo effects. It is important to consider the albedo effect of forests alongside their well-known carbon storage when aiming to cool the planet.”

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