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NOAA Models: Forest clearing making extremely hot, dry summers more frequent

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Courtesy: NOAA Courtesy: NOAA

TUCSON – Thinning forests could be influencing summer temperatures in the United States.

According to a new study from NOAA, forest clearing over the last few centuries has likely doubled or tripled the frequency of extremely hot & dry summers.

Across much of the United States, Canada and Europe, models estimated that the loss of forest & vegetation shortens the return period for extremely hot & dry summers from 10 years to every 2-3 years.

The experiment also indicates deforestation in the mid-latitudes made winters colder, due to an increase of reflected sunlight off snow.

In this study, scientists created two model worlds. The first model world allowed climate influences like greenhouse gases and deforestation to change as much as they did since the mid-1800s. In the second model world, everything was identical except forests & other vegetation was kept naturally without human activities.

This modeling technique used could help scientists and land managers predict the impact of future forest clearing or restoration efforts.

Click here to read the complete NOAA study on deforestation & summer temperatures.

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