The study shows that the effects of deforestation will be felt most in the eastern Pará and northern Maranhão regions. Here the local precipitation appears to depend strongly on the forests, and changes in land cover would drastically affect the local climate, possibly to the point where agriculture became unviable.
"There may be a limit to the expansion of agriculture in Amazonia. Below this limit, there are not important economic consequences," said Oliveira.
"Beyond this limit, the feedbacks that we demonstrated start to introduce significant losses in agricultural production."
This article originally appeared at The Daily Climate, the climate change news source published by Environmental Health Sciences, a nonprofit media company.