The capacity of forests to protect regional climate under global warming (2016–2020)
Deforestation and climate change are major global challenges. The role of forests in the carbon cycle is well recognised. Less attention is given to their role in the energy and water cycles, and their capacity to regulate regional climate. This is an important oversight because forests enhance moisture recycling and precipitation processes, which stabilises climate and reduce extremes. We will apply an innovative land use-climate scenario modelling to quantify impacts of deforestation and afforestation on the climate of northern Australia and Southeast Asia under global warming. The capacity of restoring forests to offset regional climate change will be evaluated to inform regional land use planning and climate mitigation and adaptation.