FAQ about Drought and Water Scarcity

3. How are drought, deforestation and water scarcity related?

Deforestation of forests, drought and water scarcity are closely related to each other, with serious environmental and social consequences. The water cycle is a natural process that is affected by the progressive reduction in the size of forests due to massive felling of trees and forest fires, mostly caused by humans.

In a humid rainforest there are hundreds of millions of trees and other plants that absorb water and then return it to the atmosphere in immense amounts of water vapor, a mega transpiration that forms clouds, from which the vital liquid returns through the rains. These partly fall on the rainforest itself, with which its forests maintain a constant humidity, which partly falls in the surroundings and in some cases even in distant places.

The more trees are cleared in a forest, the more inefficient the water cycle becomes. As a consequence there will be less amount of water vapor, less clouds and less precipitation, and therefore drought and water scarcity will increase.

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