Giving Compass' Take:

• New research indicates that deforestation in one place can impact neighboring forests, making them hotter.

• What are the next steps for biologists and climate activists to mitigate the effects of climate change?

• Here are one group's innovative efforts to fight deforestation.

Areas cleared of forests bleed heat to neighboring forests, and this fuels increases in temperatures there, new research has found. Average temperatures in forests around the world are already rising because of climate change; this leaked heat exacerbates the problem and accelerates local extinctions of forest-dwelling species.

"The warming is happening from global climate change but deforestation is generating additional warming, which is making climate change's impact even worse in the tropics for biodiversity and the forest itself," says Barry Sinervo, an ecologist and evolutionary biologist at the University of California–Santa Cruz, and a co-author of the recent paper in PLoS One that described the phenomenon.

The new research was prompted by findings from an earlier paper by Sinervo and colleagues. That 2010 paper analyzed patterns of local extinctions among lizard populations between 1975 and 2009 and examined the link to climate change. It predicted that almost 40 percent of lizard populations around the globe were at risk of local extinction by 2080. About 20 percent of species were at risk of being wiped out altogether.

In the new paper, Sinervo and his colleagues, including lead author Jayme Prevedello, an ecologist at Rio de Janeiro State University in Brazil, examine that link by looking at data from Brazil, where rapid deforestation threatens vast swaths of forest. The team looked at satellite data for deforestation and developed a model that could estimate the corresponding increase in land surface temperature due to deforestation.

In tropical forests, the study found, loss of half of the forest cover leads to an increase of about 1.08 degrees Celsius (1.94 degrees Fahrenheit) in the land surface temperature of the adjacent forest.

The message, according to the authors of the new research, is that, in order to save biodiversity, deforested areas need to be reforested to mitigate the impacts of climate change, especially in the tropics.

Read the full article about hotter forests by Malavika Vyawahare at Pacific Standard.