Regional impacts of future land-cover changes on the Amazon basin wet-season climate

Renato Ramos da Silva, David Werth, Roni Avissar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


State-of-the-art socioeconomic 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 simulate the hydrometeorological changes caused by deforestation in that region under diverse climatological conditions that include both El Niño and La Niña events. The basin-averaged rainfall progressively decreases with the increase of deforestation from 2000 to 2030, 2050, and so on, to total deforestation by the end of the twenty-first century. Furthermore, the spatial distribution of rainfall is significantly affected by both 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 that could result in a catastrophic collapse of the ecosystem in that region. The basin experiences much stronger precipitation changes during El Niño events as deforestation increases. During these periods, deforestation in the western part of the basin induces a very significant decrease of precipitation. During wet years, however, deforestation has a minor overall impact on the basin climatology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1153-1170
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Regional impacts of future land-cover changes on the Amazon basin wet-season climate'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this