Fewer Rain Forests Mean Less Energy for Developing Nations, Study Finds

This article is about how deforestation will likely reduce the energy output of hydroelectric projects in different countries around the world that are investing a lot of money to create power to support economic growth. In the past years, scientists and engineers have realized that the river flow has significantly increased when trees along streams are removed. This is due to the fact that instead of the water in the soil evaporating into the atmosphere, the water goes directly streams and rivers. This is a problem because large parts of the tropical forest create rain clouds as moisture from their leaves evaporates. So the elimination of swaths of these forests decreases rainfall which is turning out to be a problem. If humans keep cutting down a lot of trees the indirect impact of lost rainfall outweighs the direct impact of removing trees. If the extensive deforestation continues, The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences predicts that deforestation will leave less water in the rivers to generate hydropower that are used in projects around the world like The Belo Monte project. It is expected for the Belo Monte project to generate at least 4,400 megawatts of hydropower electricity but studies on deforestation shows that by 2050 around 40% of its power could be lost because of the reduced rainfall caused by regional deforestation. Another example this article demonstrates about the bad effects of deforestation is the loss of tropical rain forests in the Amazon basin, Central Africa, Indonesia and other parts of the world will accelerate worldwide climate change be removing a large carbon sink that absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Also, deforestation destroys the livelihoods of indigenous communities around the word which can effect us in the future. As tropical rain forest nations are increasingly changing into hydropower to meet growing demands for so called, green electricity, it is important that planners take into account the problem of deforestation and how it effects the amount of rainfall and energy we receive. 

-Sofia Guerra

Topic and category : Ecology and The Living World (deforestation)

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/14/science/earth/study-finds-loss-of-rain-forests-can-deplete-hydropower.html?_r=0

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