The emissions coming from deforestation play significant role in climate change phenomenon though not as much as previously predicted. According to a latest NASA study the previous estimates about the contribution of emissions from deforestation in total worldwide man-made carbon emissions need to be significantly reduced to get the real picture.
The NASA used satellite data in order to determine the actual contribution of deforestation in global emissions in period from 2000-2005. Their conclusion was that deforestation accounted for approximately 10 percent of the total worldwide man-made carbon emissions in the period from 2000-2005.
This percentage is roughly one third of previously published estimates. It also has to be said that is the first study that used satellite data while previous studies mostly used tabular bookkeeping models to obtain the numbers.
Though this is a significantly smaller percentage than previously thought this doesn't change the fact that deforestation is still one of the top climate change contributors.
Deforestation is primarily connected with tropical rainforests. These ancient forests are huge carbon sinkers and absorb large quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere. This means that the destruction of these forests not only creates new emissions but also reduces the total forests cover, doubling the negative impact on climate change.
We are still talking about the losses of millions of hectares of forest per year which represents a major environmental issue, not only because of the climate change issue, but also because tropical forests are areas with the richest biodiversity on our planet, meaning that many plant and animal species will lose their homes if we continue this path of destruction.
The scientists soon plan to update this study with information whether the carbon emissions from deforestation increased or decreased in the second half of the 2000s.