Global hydroclimatological teleconnections resulting from tropical deforestation

Roni Avissar, David Werth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Past studies have indicated that deforestation of the Amazon basin would result in an important rainfall decrease in that region but that this process had no significant impact on the global temperature or precipitation and had only local implications. Here it is shown that deforestation of tropical regions significantly affects precipitation at mid- and high latitudes through hydrometeorological teleconnections. In particular, it is found that the deforestation of Amazonia and Central Africa severely reduces rainfall in the lower U.S. Midwest during the spring and summer seasons and in the upper U.S. Midwest during the winter and spring, respectively, when water is crucial for agricultural productivity in these regions. Deforestation of Southeast Asia affects China and the Balkan Peninsula most significantly. On the other hand, the elimination of any of these tropical forests considerably enhances summer rainfall in the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. The combined effect of deforestation of these three tropical regions causes a significant decrease in winter precipitation in California and seems to generate a cumulative enhancement of precipitation during the summer in the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-145
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Hydrometeorology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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