Amazon Logging Feeds Hurricanes

Manaus, Jul 20 (Prensa Latina) Studies presented by leading world scientists forecast dire consequences for the Caribbean and southern American regions if deforestation of the Amazon is not halted, said the head of a development agency here in Brazil.

Traveling with leading scientists, religious leaders and politicians in the Amazon waterways, Lelei LeLaulu, president of Counterpart International, a Washington-based non-profit agency, said continued massive logging of the rainforest will disrupt the flow of warm air in the atmosphere, leading to increased hurricane activity in the Caribbean and the Gulf states of America and Mexico.

LeLaulu said "climate scientists have compiled studies which conclude the vast Amazonia is more the heart of the planet for its role in pumping moisture and rain to South America and beyond," asserts LeLaulu.

"Basically, the scientists are telling us forest destruction in the Amazon leads to a failure of forest transpiration, the forest pumps, leaving heat in the southern north Atlantic which in turn gives birth to more extreme hurricanes in the Caribbean," he cautioned.

It also means the bread baskets of southern Brazil and Argentina could be turned to desert without the rain generated by the Amazon, he added.

Quoting from submissions made by top Brazilian scientists and their colleagues from the leading European and American academies of science to a high-level meeting on the Amazon, LeLaulu asserted, "we are now able to explain why the sea temperature of the southern Atlantic has been rising, giving birth to more extreme hurricanes which ravage the Caribbean and North America."

Tom Spencer, vice chairman of the Institute for Environmental Security in the Hague, said this is the missing link and holds the possibility of a new deal in the international climate negotiations such as the Kyoto Protocol.

The scientists are telling us we are running out of time as forests struggle to survive. The upcoming United Nations climate conference in Nairobi this November has a new sense of urgency, said Spencer.

Since 1995, Religion, Science and the Environment series (RSE) has convened five symposia to study the fate of the world's main bodies of water, which cover seven-tenths of the earth's surface.

These assemblies of scientists, environmentalists, policy-makers and representatives of the world's main religious faiths have established an environmental ethics movement, and drawn global attention to the degradation of the Aegean Sea, the Black Sea, the Danube River, the Adriatic Sea, and the Baltic Sea.


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