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Advanced Taiwan Ocean Prediction System

Tseng, Tsu-Lun - ALL News | 2019-02-22 | Count:135


Title: The far-reaching impact on climate of deforestation in Indonesia


In the Malay Archipelago (Indonesia and Malaysia), forest is being lost in the past several decades to cash-crop plantation (oil palm, rubber and acacia, including fallow lands) and urban expansion. Deforestation changes land surface properties and fluxes, which modifies wind and rainfall. Despite the expansive land-cover change over a climatically sensitive region of the tropics, the resulting impact has not been previously examined. Using a large ensemble of model experiments, Dr. Shiming Huang and I show that the deforestation warms the Malay Archipelago, caused by an increase in soil warming due to decreased evapotranspirative cooling. The island warming agrees well with in situ and satellite observations; it causes moisture to converge from the surrounding seas into Sumatra and Malaya, and updraft, rainfall and cyclonic circulation to spread northwestward into southern India and the Arabian Sea, as well as drying anticyclonic circulation over the Indo-Gangetic plains, Indochina and the South China Sea, weakening the Asian summer monsoon. The modeled monsoon-weakening agrees well with, and tends to enhance the observed long-term trend, suggesting the potential for continued weakening with protracted cash-crop plantation and urban expansion.

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