Friday May 13, 2022

Science Daily

How would afforestation and restoration of large areas worldwide affect water-fluxes world wide? A new study led by Wageningen University researcher Anne Hoek van Dijke with contributions from Martin Herold, GFZ, has interesting answers. Impacts on precipitation reach far beyond country or even continent level: tree restoration in the Amazon can, for example, affect rainfall in Europe and Eastern Asia. The study, published in Nature Geoscience on May 11, 2022, has calculated the global impact of large-scale tree restoration on water fluxes and water availability.

“Restauration and planting more trees is seen as viable solution for enhancing carbon storage and the biodiverse functioning of ecosystems. With innovative data and analysis, our interdisciplinary analysis highlights that the hydrological effects are important for how and where such nature-based solutions are more suitable to achieve towards more climate-smart and sustainable future landscapes,” says Martin Herold from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, who contributed to the study led by Anne Hoek van Dijke from Wageningen University & Research.

The researchers calculated the hydrological effects of the “global tree restoration potential”: a global map highlighting 900 million hectares where more trees could grow or be planted given local climate conditions, and without encroaching on agricultural and urban land. The increase in evaporation resulting from the increased tree cover was calculated globally at high resolution. The study used data-driven models that describe how much rainfall evaporates, and how much goes to streamflow. Anne Hoek van Dijke, PhD candidate Hydrology and Remote Sensing at Wageningen University & Research: “These models include a vegetation parameter for forest and non-forest conditions that was calibrated to a range of different evaporation and streamflow measurements. Afterwards, we calculated where, and to what extent, the increased evaporation would return to the land surface as increased precipitation.”

Read more >

Link copied successfully