Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fishbone deforestation pattern affecting environment

12.12.2006
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are studying the environmental impact that unique patterns of deforestation in Rondonia, Brazil, have on the land and climate.

Rondonia is a state in the Amazonian region where the establishment of rural development projects has resulted in the construction of orthogonal road networks. Deforestation along the rapidly expanding network of highways and local roads has created a unique fishbone pattern.

Somnath Baidya Roy, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Illinois, is studying the atmosphere dynamics of fishbone deforestation, and will present his findings at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, Dec. 11-15.

“People often relate tropical deforestation to clear-cuts,” Roy said. “Climate models show that clear-cuts, if they happen on a basin-wide scale, will result in decreased rainfall and bring about a drier, more arid landscape. In the case of fishbone patterns, the deforestation is in isolated segments of the landscape, and our models indicate that it results in increased precipitation over these deforested regions.”

Whether there has been a change in the overall amount of precipitation has not been established, but there is definitely evidence for the redistribution of precipitation. Roy attributes this redistribution to “vegetation breezes” that are similar to lake and sea breezes.

A deforested patch is warmer than the neighboring forests. Warm air is lighter and rises, creating a localized low-pressure zone. Cool air then rushes in to fill the void. Because of this convergence, more cumulus clouds and rainfall occur over the deforested patch.

Roy uses a high-resolution computer simulation model to study the effects of deforestation on climate, and the effects that climate change has on the landscape, a process known as “feedback cycle.”

Recent studies have indicated that fishbone deforestation can trigger up to 15 millimeters more rain over pastures, stimulating an increased growth of vegetation in these areas.

“It is very counter-intuitive that in these cases, fishbone deforestation results in a negative feedback-cycle,” Roy said. “It’s negative because it speeds up vegetation recovery and thus offsets the effects of deforestation.”

If the deforestation had resulted in less rainfall, leading to a decrease in plant growth, this would be referred to as a “positive” feedback-cycle.

Roy’s model is high-resolution, resulting in very detailed data. The drawback to this model is that it cannot be carried out for prolonged periods, unlike more conventional climate models, which provide coarser data but can be carried out continuously.

“Our next goal is to correlate my model with other climate models,” Roy said, “so that we may study the longer term aspects of fishbone deforestation, while maintaining the high-resolution.”

Editor’s note: To reach Somnath Baidya Roy, call 217-244-1123; e-mail: sbroy@uiuc.edu.

Somnath Baidya Roy | News Bureau
Further information:
http://www.uiuc.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht International team reports ocean acidification spreading rapidly in Arctic Ocean
28.02.2017 | University of Delaware

nachricht Secrets of the calcerous ooze revealed
28.02.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists reach back in time to discover some of the most power-packed galaxies

28.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nano 'sandwich' offers unique properties

28.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Light beam replaces blood test during heart surgery

28.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>