INVESTIGATING THE IMPACT OF DEFORESTATION ON MICROCLIMATE AND INCREASING THE RISK OF HEAT STRESS USING SATELLITE IMAGE PROCESSING (CASE STUDY: FORESTS OF HIRAN AREA)
Keywords: Deforestation, Land Surface Temperature, Microclimate, Heat Stress, Satellite Image, Landsat
Abstract. In recent years, the forests of northern Iran, which have a very high value, have been changed and turned into other uses due to various human reasons. Meanwhile, residential and road construction is more visible in these forests. Recognizing the location and investigating the impact of changes in forest extent in any region can greatly help the condition of forests in the past and planning their restoration. In this research, using satellite image processing, the effect of deforestation on the microclimate of the region and its effect on the surface temperature of the region have been investigated. By collecting in situ points in sixty samples including thirty tree areas and thirty pasture and treeless areas, the forest rate was determined using the normalized vegetation cover index. Then the land surface temperature of the studied area was calculated using the single channel method. Finally, by choosing a region as a control region in order to control the impact of global warming, the studied region and the control region were statistically compared. The results of the classification of the region based on tree and non-tree areas showed that during the years 1984 to 2021, about 1400 hectares were deforested. Also, the results of the final Welch T_test statistical test showed that there is a significant difference between the temperatures of the two regions at the 99% confidence level and with a p_value equal to 0.0007. This fact shows the significant impact of deforestation on increasing the temperature of the region.