HomeEarthDeforestation increases risk of flash flooding

Deforestation increases risk of flash flooding

A study has found that the frequency of thunderstorms in some African coastal cities has doubled in the past few decades. This has increased the impact of deforestation on the local climate.

It is well known that the removal of vegetation increases rainwater runoff and the risk of mudslides increase with it. UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) have done research and this research have revealed that frequent storm activity in coastal areas is an unrecognized way in which deforestation can increase flooding.

Scientists have analysed three decades of satellite data in southern West Africa. Then they have established a data of how weather patterns had been altered because of deforestation.

The scientists found the removal of large areas of forest have increased the rates of global warming in coastal areas. Areas such as Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. The frequency of storms has doubled in the deforested areas since 1991.

The deforested land had been used as a fuel for cooking in nearby growing populations. But the storms and rainfall have affected both urban and rural areas. This study has been published in the journal PNAS.

A good number of people live near the ocean because of the food and economic benefits.

Large number of coastal tropical forest have been destroyed in Africa and Southeast Asia. Climate change already have an impact on communities. Infrastructures such as drainage are ill-equipped to cope with flooding. In Freetown region, people are suffering from damaging effects of climate change. They are facing flash flooding from storms.

Previous research has shown deforestation with reduced regional rainfall in some regions. But the ocean has strong impacts on local weather patterns. The new research is the first study about the impact of deforestation on storm in coastal areas.

The new research is a part of ongoing research by UKCEH. This study reflects on the future climate change in West Africa. In this region flash flooding is extremely common during rainy season.


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