Forests absorb large amounts carbon dioxide (CO2) From the Earth’s atmosphere, make them an important part of mitigation Climate change.. But new research has found that humans have already made the world’s largest rainforest useless in the fight against greenhouse gases, and perhaps even harmful.
According to a survey, it was published in the journal on July 14th. NatureThe Amazon rainforest currently emits over 1.1 billion tonnes (1 billion metric tonnes) of CO2 and greenhouse gases annually. This means that forests officially release more carbon into the atmosphere than they remove.
Researchers wrote in their study that the carbon imbalance was caused by “massive human turmoil” in the Amazon ecosystem. Forest fire — Many are deliberately set to clear land for agriculture and industry — are responsible for most of the CO2 emissions from this area. The team also found that these fires strengthened the warming feedback loop and that increased greenhouse gases contributed to the longer and hotter dry seasons of the Amazon, leading to more fires and more CO2 pollution. Did.
Especially the eastern Amazon — many historically deforestation In the last 40 years, researchers have found that it is hotter, drier, and more prone to fire than other rainforests. As a result, greenhouse gas emissions from the region will increase and fewer trees will absorb carbon again. photosynthesis..
“The first very bad news is that forest burning produces about three times more CO2 than forests absorb,” said Luciana Gatti, a principal research author at the National Institute for Space Research in Brazil. I am. Told the guardian.. “The second bad news is that deforestation above 30% shows 10 times more carbon emissions than deforestation below 20%.”
In a new study, researchers analyzed nearly 600 CO2 measurements from four Brazilian Amazon sites collected on small aircraft from 2010 to 2018. The team found an average of about 1.6 billion tonnes (1.5 billion metric tonnes) of fire. Every year, CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere, but healthy trees absorb only about 500 million tons.
The team also found that while the eastern Amazon is the net source of carbon emissions, the western Amazon, which has far less deforestation, is neither a carbon source nor a carbon sink. There, the team writes that the CO2 absorption of healthy forests is commensurate with the emissions from the fire.
The Amazon basin has approximately 2.8 million square miles (7.2 million square kilometers) of jungle, accounting for more than half of the remaining rainforest on Earth. To reverse this dangerous trend in the Amazon, it is important to limit deforestation, especially wildfires.
“Imagine if you could ban a fire in the Amazon— [the forest] “It could be a carbon sink, but we’re doing the opposite, accelerating climate change,” Gatti told The Guardian.
Originally published in Live Science.
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