Have people misunderstood Global Warming and Climate Change totally?
Excellent question. The correlation between land clearing and regional climate change is real, and is beginning to gain traction among mainstream climate science. Until about 2004, when the first papers demonstrating a very clear causative link between land-cover change (deforestation), a drop in precipitation, and rise in regional temperatures started coming out, the link was thought to account for maybe a 5% reduction in this rainfall. Latest estimates range from between 30 and 60%! Indeed, in the findings of the last IPCC report, the panel points out that this is a factor under-appreciated in the modeling they’ve conducted to date, and that this constitutes one of the biggest sources of error. They aim to correct this for the next report. I’m hoping to work on exactly this problem for an honours project in a few years, and have already amassed more than 60 papers that directly or indirectly concern this relationship. The seminal papers that underlined the scale of this correlation w