Emissions more CO2 than absorbed, scientists confirm the Amazon forest is no longer the ‘green lung’ of the Earth

Emissions more CO2 than absorbed, scientists confirm the Amazon forest is no longer the ‘green lung’ of the Earth

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2021-07-16 20:43:57

Accordingly, the amount of C02 emitted from the Amazon forest has reached 1 billion tons/year, equivalent to the emissions of the whole of Japan. This is the estimate of scientists in a study just published in the journal Nature on July 14. Reportedly, the research team has used small aircraft flying over areas of the Amazon forest for the past decade to collect data.

In fact, the Amazon is currently generating up to 1.5 billion tons of C02 a year – largely from deforestation to clear land for cattle ranching and soybean farming. Meanwhile, the Amazon forest only ‘absorbs’ about 0.5 billion tons of CO2.

The burning of forests has caused the Amazon to now emit more CO2 than is absorbed by this forest

In some other areas of the Amazon, for example, in the Southeast, although not burned, the drought and high temperatures also cause this area to emit more C02, instead of absorbing it. This could be an indirect consequence of the deforestation and fires that take place every year, making neighboring forests more vulnerable the following year. Trees generate more rain for the area, so fewer trees mean more droughts and heat waves, causing more trees to die and burn – all of which creates a polar loop. dangerous period.

“We have a very negative loop that leaves forests vulnerable to uncontrolled fires,” said Luciana Gatti, a scientist at Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research and lead author of the study. identify.

“The first bad news is that the burning of the forest has caused the amount of CO2 to be emitted 3 times higher than the CO2 that the forest can absorb. The second bad news is that where the deforestation rate is above 30%, the CO2 emission 10 times higher than in areas where deforestation is less than 20%,” said Ms. Gatti.

Trees and plants have long absorbed about a quarter of the world’s fossil fuel emissions (since 1960), in which the Amazon forest plays a huge role. The loss of the Amazon’s ability to absorb CO2, scientists say, is a warning that cutting fossil fuel emissions is more urgent than ever.

Prior to that, a satellite study published in April found that Brazil’s Amazon forest has emitted nearly 20 percent more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the past decade than it absorbed. The study, which followed 300,000 trees over 30 years, to be published in 2020, shows that tropical forests are absorbing less CO2 than before.

Refer to The Guardian

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