When forests are cut down, less moisture goes into the atmosphere and rainfall declines, sometimes leading to drought.
In recent years, the rainforests of Borneo and the Amazon have experienced very severe droughts. These have been made worse by deforestation.
Moisture generated by rainforests travels around the world. Scientists have discovered that rainfall in America’s Midwest is affected by forests in the Congo. Meanwhile, moisture created in the Amazon ends up falling as rain as far away as Texas, and forests in Southeast Asia influence rain patterns in southeastern Europe and China. Distant rainforests are therefore important to farmers everywhere.
By Rhett Butler
Date published: June 24, 2004 | Last updated: March 21, 2014