Media Report On the Important Role Of Landscape Change On Climate

There is an interesting news article In The Telegraph on May 23 2008 by G.S. Mudur titled “Riders rained out, trees to blame – Jump in green cover over capital the reason for unseasonable showers, say scientists“. The article, referring to New Dehli and vicinity, includes the text

“The growth of forest and tree cover in the capital and its neighbouring regions — traditionally an arid zone — may be a key factor contributing to unseasonal local rain, atmospheric scientists said.

Rain in Delhi during the month of May has increased each year over the past three years — from 37mm in 2005 to 71mm in 2007, and 104mm recorded so far this month. Over the decades, forest and tree cover in the capital has bloomed — from a mere 22sqkm in 1993 to 283sqkm by 2005.

“We could call this unintentional climate engineering — on a local scale,” said Rengaswamy Ramesh, a senior scientist at the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad.

This is yet another example (on the local scale) that land use/land cover change are first order climate forcings (also see and see), and that this issue was ignored in the 2007 IPCC Summary to Policymakers. Finally, the media are starting to pay attention to this issue!

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