Tropical deforestation and forest degradation have important environmental impacts. Extensive air pollution from deforestation fires is a serious health issue across the tropics, but large uncertainties remain in its quantification. Deforestation alters rainfall, both through changes to the land surface and through the impacts of smoke from deforestation fires. However, the magnitude and sign of the rainfall response to deforestation is not clear because underlying land-atmosphere interactions are poorly understood and because the net response is a result of multiple, complex interactions that have not been fully assessed. The impacts of deforestation on atmospheric composition and climate cause a complex set of Earth system interactions and feedbacks. These feedbacks have not yet been fully quantified and so their importance is not known. In this talk I will present recent work from my group aimed at understanding the impacts and interactions between deforestation, fire, air quality and climate. I'll present evidence that deforestation might have a larger impact on air quality and climate than we currently think. And I'll discuss some of our future research directions.

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