Report suggests forest-cutting can immediately harm climatic patterns

By Dom Phillips, December 19, 2014

RIO DE JANEIRO — The critical role that vast tropical forests such as Brazil’s Amazon play in suppressing climate change is well known: They store huge quantities of carbon, acting as “carbon sinks.”But as a report out this week argues, scientists are making the case that cutting down these forests does more than simply release carbon into the atmosphere — it has a direct and more immediate effect on the climate, from changes in rainfall patterns to increases in temperatures. The amount of water that forests pump into the air is key to this. But scientists disagree on how that happens.Read full article >>