How Does Vegetation Affect Climate?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 30, 2020 2:01:52 AM ET

Vegetation affects climate because it influences the reflection of solar energy from the Earth’s surface and the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. In addition, plants use carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, reducing its concentration in the atmosphere and reversing global warming.

Vegetation affects climate because it plays a role in energy balance and the water cycle. Evaporation and transpiration are the main processes through which vegetation affects climate. The effect of vegetation on the weather contributes to changes in climate. Plants control the temperature and humidity of their surroundings, which affects the weather and climate. Vegetation also affects climate by absorbing and emitting energy.

Plants reduce the effects of burning fossil fuels by absorbing carbon dioxide. Vegetation is the main indicator of climate. Because of this, climate zones are defined by distribution of vegetation types: hot desert flora, tropical rain forest, boreal forest, temperate deciduous forest and tundra. Vast forest canopies and grassland have a cooling effect on the environment. Forest soils also absorb large amounts of energy, which affects the weather and climate.

About 20 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by vegetation. Farming plays an important role in maintaining cropland vegetation, which affects climate. Human activities, such as deforestation affect transpiration, evaporation and reflection of solar energy, leading to negative effects on the Earth’s climate.