Since Charles Darwin University found in 2007 that “a 10% increase in trees being cut down increased the risk of flooding up to 28%, should we be surprised that a forest that was 93% destroyed (the Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil) just suffered flooding of epic proportions?
Might it be worth putting time, energy and money into reforestation initiatives in the area? We firmly believe so.
Deforestation increases flooding risks
An international team of scientists, including experts from Singapore, has proven for the first time that deforestation increases the risk of flood disasters, which kill thousands of people and cause billions of dollars in damage each year.
With every 10 per cent increase in trees being cut down, the flood risk increases by up to 28 per cent, the researchers from Australia’s Charles Darwin University and the National University of Singapore found. “This has huge implications for governments of developing nations trying to save lives and reduce expenditures,” said its lead researcher, Dr. Corey Bradshaw, associate professor of environmental sciences at Charles Darwin University. He added that the team “found real evidence that deforestation also leads to more intense and devastating floods that kill more people and damage more property.”
No research previously had proved that cutting down trees could lead to more floods. To do so, the team looked at data from 56 developing countries across Africa, Asia and Central and South America, between 1990 and 2000. It found that nearly 100,000 people were killed, and 320 million displaced by floods during this time, with damages exceeding US$1.151 trillion (S$1.7 trillion).
The work, which was published in the scientific journal Global Change Biology, was highlighted in the publication Nature.
See the complete article in The Straits Times (Singapore).
Posted By Anne-Sophie Samjee at 9:31am on October 10, 2007