Climate impact of reforestation or deforestation in the tropics

In contrast to the boreal forest zone reforestation in the tropics has strongly different impacts on regional and global climate. The albedo decrease is modest, about five percent if grassland is converted into a forest; evapotranspiration increases strongly, off-setting or surmounting the albedo influence; carbon storage is much stronger within the first decades; emissions of N2O and CH4 from tropical forest soils are on average larger than from the soils in the boreal zone. Again only coupled model calculations can give an answer. However, the parameterization of evapotranspiration from forests as compared to grassland in inhomogeneous terrain is still a research topic, i.e. error bars are still high. It is, therefore, very difficult to assess the climate change caused by deforestation in the Amazon basin and model results diverge strongly.

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