Terug naar het overzicht

Sumatran region heats up as forests disappear

29 / 10 / 2017, Mongabaycom News

The wholesale destruction of rainforests across parts of Indonesia’s Sumatra island to make way for cash-crop plantations has not just devastated animal and plant biodiversity in the region, but may also be driving an alarming rise in temperatures on the ground, a new study suggests. Average temperatures in Jambi province, one of the most heavily deforested regions in Sumatra, rose by 1.05 degrees Celsius (1.89 degrees Fahrenheit) between 2000 and 2015 — and more than half that increase can be attributed to the lack of forest cover, according to the new research published in the European Geosciences Union journal Biogeosciences. The team of researchers from the University of Göttingen in Germany used satellite data collected between 2000 and 2015 by the NASA Landsat missions and the MODIS instrument, as well as data collected on the ground, to compare average land surface temperature increases in Jambi with a site that was covered by forest during the entire period (and thus considered to be unaffected by direct land-use change). They found the temperature of the forest site rose by just 0.45 degrees Celsius during that period, suggesting that at least 0.6 degrees Celsius of the total 1.05 degree increase was due to land-use change. “We see that transformed land uses have a higher land surface temperature compared to forest, particularly bare land and young oil palm plantations, explaining the observed surface temperature increase in the province,” Alexander Knohl, a professor of bioclimatology and one of the research team leaders, said in an…

Naar artikel