SEARCH BLOG: GLOBAL WARMING
Over at Climate Science, there was a post about the Importance of Land Use Processes on Global Climate System. From the abstract:
I will present results from a coupled atmosphere-biosphere model, CCM3-IBIS (Community Climate Model, version 3 - Integrated Biosphere Simulator), to illustrate the potential influence of theoretical land use and land cover change on the global climate by way of atmospheric teleconnections. The results suggest that pan-tropical and Amazonian deforestation can have a strong influence on the Northern Hemisphere general circulation by way of changes to synoptic-scale dynamics and land-atmosphere feedbacks both in the Amazon and in Asia. The result is a large warming across parts of Asia in boreal winter. While theoretical, this approach illustrates the potentially important processes connecting regional land surface changes in the tropics to climate changes in far-removed regions.Stripping the forests changes the climate....
One of the commenters offered up this abstract:
One of the most profound predicted impacts of climate change into the 21st Century is being discussed next week at Oxford University’s Oriel College by an unprecedented gathering of scientists, conservationists and policymakers. The three day conference starting 20th March explores why dieback from drought might happen; the likelihood and length of time for significant dieback of the Amazon; and what it means for local people and biodiversity; and the implications for the global climate.Changing the climate strips the forests....
An early wake-up call on the potential die-back of the Amazon rainforest due to a drying climate emerged from the Met Office Hadley Centre climate model five years ago. The issue of Amazonian dieback then leapt from scientists’ computer predictions to global environmental concern with the unexpected Amazonian drought of 2005. Was it a climate change “tipping point”, a harbinger of things to come?
I viewed this as a chicken or the egg kind of thing. Was climate change (global warming from anthropogenic CO2 as implied by the second abstract from the Tydall Centre) creating drought conditions... or was deforestation (land use changes... a factor emphasized by Dr. Pielke at Climate Science) creating a regional climate change (drier conditions) that might be having a "feedback" effect in the rain forest as well as impacting the global climate?
In either case, man's activity would be affecting global climate, but the cause would be quite different ... and the solution would also be quite different.
But what is the likelihood that higher average temperatures (which happened many times in the past) would cause unique drought conditions to kill off a forest that has stood for millions of years? Let's think this through... slowly. Also see: http://rainforests.mongabay.com/amazon/