The way that humans use and change the land and its vegetation can have a profound effect on the climate, and can either counteract or exacerbate climate change. These effects are often overlooked when discussing action on climate change (aka global warming or global heating).
The recent public outcry over land clearing rates in Australia, particularly Queensland, was largely about the resulting loss of biodiversity. Less talked about was the impact of all that land clearing and deforestation on local and regional climates, and the impact of this on human communities and surrounding ecosystems as global heating intensifies.
Global heating impacts natural ecosystems and agriculture
Human activities are heating the planet, and our climate is changing, causing major changes to both natural ecosystems and agriculture. Increasing average temperatures will shift the locations of what crops can be grown where, and will make land in some locations unable to support agriculture. More extreme temperatures are also drying out ecosystems and endangering wildlife (like flying foxes who can’t handle heatwaves and start to drop out of the trees, dead).
Longer and more severe droughts are damaging not only crops but entire ecosystems by contributing to increased bushfire severity.