THE SWEAT GLANDS OF THE EARTH

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 02/02/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Forests' role in cooling the earth and generating moisture thousands of miles away
The carbon emissions created by tropical deforestation are well known. Now a new study finds that forests are not just the lungs of the earth—they are the sweat glands. In other words, the moisture they move through their roots, trunks and leaves helps keep the planet cool to an extent that has never been quantified globally until now. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with the study's author Deborah Lawrence about the critical role forests play in directly cooling the earth and generating moisture--not only for the immediate region where deforestation takes place, but for critical food-producing regions thousands of miles away.

Deborah Lawrence, is a Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia. Her research focuses on the ecological effects of tropical deforestation. Professor Lawrence and her students conduct interdisciplinary research with partners in economics, anthropology, geography and hydrology to understand the drivers and consequences of land use change. This work has gained her a Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Jefferson Science Fellowship from the National Academy of Sciences, and a Fulbright Scholarship. She was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University, earned her Ph.D. (Botany) at Duke University, and received a B.A. (Biological Anthropology) from Harvard University.

 

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