Title: Forest clearing, water loss, and land surface heating as development costs

Authors: Petra Hesslerova, Jan Pokorny

Addresses: ENKI, o.p.s., Dukelska 145, CZ-379 01 Trebon, Czech Republic; Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Dept. of Applied Geoinformatics and Spatial Planning, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamycka 129, Praha 6 – Suchdol, CZ-165 21, Czech Republic. ' ENKI, o.p.s., Dukelska 145, CZ-379 01 Trebon, Czech Republic

Abstract: This paper documents the effects of development in Kenya and its subsequent influence on surface temperatures. The assumption is that deforestation leads to a decrease in evapotranspiration, and causes an observed temperature increase. The study was realised in the Mau Forest of Central Kenya, where extensive deforestation over the past 20 years has caused changes in climate and hydrology. The analyses are based on processing of Landsat satellite images. Field observations during the |dry| rainy season in October 2008, and testimonies of local people and scientists, confirm the decline of precipitation, low water level in lakes and discharge of rivers.

Keywords: deforestation; surface radiation temperatures; climate change; Landsat satellite images; remote sensing; Mau forest; desertification; forest clearing; water loss; land surface heating; Kenya; hydrology.

DOI: 10.1504/IJW.2010.038732

International Journal of Water, 2010 Vol.5 No.4, pp.401 - 418

Published online: 24 Feb 2011 *

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