Cloud cooling effects of afforestation and reforestation at midlatitudes

Sara Cerasoli, Jun Yin, Amilcare Porporato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Because of the large carbon sequestration potential, reforestation and afforestation (R&A) are among the most prominent natural climate solutions. However, while their effectiveness is well established for wet tropics, it is often argued that R&A are less advantageous or even detrimental at higher latitudes, where the reduction of forest albedo (the amount of reflected solar radiation by a surface) tends to nullify or even overcome the carbon benefits. Here, we carefully analyze the situation for R&A at midlatitudes, where the warming effects due to vegetation albedo are regarded to be almost balanced by the cooling effects from an increased carbon storage. Using both satellite data and atmospheric boundary-layer models, we show that by including cloud–albedo effects due to land–atmosphere interactions, the R&A cooling at midlatitudes becomes prevalent. This points to a much greater potential of R&A for wet temperate regions than previously considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2026241118
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number33
StatePublished - Aug 17 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


  • Afforestation
  • Carbon mitigation
  • Cloud feedback


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