Amazon Logging Could Hurt Snowfall in U.S.

Sierra Nevada snowpack possibly reduced 50 percent

mato grosso

A stretch of rainforest surrounded by area cut to farm cotton in Mato Grosso, Brazil. This kind of deforestation in the Amazon can affect precipitation in the United States, researchers recently concluded.     Photo: Pedro Biondi/Wikimedia

Clearcutting, logging, and burning in the Amazon may affect snowfall in the U.S., according to a report in the Journal of Climate.

Researchers estimate that deforestation in the Amazon could reduce snowpack in the Sierra Nevadas by 50 percent, affecting skiing at Heavenly, Mammoth Mountain, Lake Tahoe, and other resorts in the area. While the connection between deforestation and dry air has already been establish, this study finds that the El-Nino-like would ripple into the Western United States from December to February.

“The big point is that Amazon deforestation will not only affect the Amazon,” lead author David Medvigy, an assistant profession of geosciences at Princeton, said in a press release. “It will not be contained.”

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