The Extinction Chronicles

 

Deforestation and use of forest lands for agriculture or pasture, particularly in tropical regions, contribute more to climate change than previously thought, research finds.

“When we think about climate change, we can’t stop at the end of the century.”

The study also shows just how significantly that impact has been underestimated. Even if all fossil fuel emissions are eliminated, if current tropical deforestation rates hold steady through 2100, there will still be a 1.5 degree increase in global warming.

“A lot of the emphasis of climate policy is on converting to sustainable energy from fossil fuels,” says Natalie M. Mahowald, the paper’s lead author and faculty director of environment for the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell University.

“It’s an incredibly important step to take, but, ironically, particulates released from the burning of fossil fuels—which are severely detrimental to human health—have…

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