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Scenarios of Deforestation and their Impact on the Amazon Basin Hidrometeorology

Renato Ramos-da-Silva, UFPA, renato@duke.edu (Presenting)
David Werth, Duke University, werth@duke.edu
Roni Avissar, Duke University, avissar@duke.edu

State-of-the art socio-economic scenarios of land-cover change in the Amazon Basin for the years 2030 and 2050 are used together with the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) to anticipate the hydrometeorological changes caused by deforestation expansion in that region assuming a four-year sequence (1997-2000) of meteorological conditions that include both El Niņo and La Niņa events. The basin-average rainfall decreases progressively with the increase of deforestation from the current state to 2030, 2050 and on to total deforestation. However, the spatial distribution of rainfall is significantly affected by the land-cover type and topography. While the massively deforested region experiences an important decrease of precipitation, the areas at the edge of that region and at elevated regions receive more rainfall. Propagating squall-lines over the massively deforested region dissipate before reaching the western part of the basin, causing a significant decrease of rainfall in that region. The horizontal gradient of surface heat fluxes created by the deforestation pattern generates important circulations that are not resolved by global climate models (GCMs). An analysis of moist convergence and net energy shows that GCMs are more sensitive to deforestation than RAMS, mostly because of this lack of feedback.

Science Theme:  HY (Hydrometeorology)

Session:  1A: Land Surface, Climate, and Hydrology

Presentation Type:  Oral

Abstract ID: 41

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