The green cover that was existing in the high altitude Northern Hemisphere in the 1750s is no more seen today and the impact is visible in Indian monsoon getting affected, said IISc climate scientists attributing the fall in monsoon rains to increased deforestation.
The Bangalore-based Indian Institute of sciences (IISc) centre said in the 1750s, only about 7% of the global land area was under agriculture but it has gone up to one-third of global forest cover being uprooted for agriculture and human dwelling now.
Bala Govindasamy, climate scientist and professor at the IISc’s Divecha Centre for Climate Change, and his post-doctoral researcher N. Devaraju and another doctoral student, Angshuman Modak, together came to the conlucsion after projecting the damage with a climate model to investigate the effects of large-scale deforestation.
The simulation extracted from the study found that extensive deforestation just in the northern high latitudes only affected temperate areas as well as the tropics.
Since the deforestation reduced rains in the monsoon regions of the northern hemisphere, India was affected the most. The researchers said the global deforestation resulted in 18% reduction in its summer monsoon rains. But the deforestation also led to an increase in rains over the southern hemisphere, especially South Africa, South America and Australia, they noted.
Their findings have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.