Shocking Report: Amazon Releases More Carbon than it Absorbs
Something is going wrong with the lungs of the world. According to a shocking report, after years of burning, mining, and development in the prestigious ecosystem – the Brazilian Amazon releases more carbon than it absorbs.
The rainforest has released nearly 20% more carbon dioxide than it has absorbed from the atmosphere in 10 years. As it stands, humanity can no longer depend on the world’s largest tropical forest to absorb the man-made carbon emissions!
Between 2010 and 2019, Amazon has released 16.6 billion tonnes of CO2, while taking in only 13.9 billion tonnes, according to the journal Nature Climate Change.
In the first of a kind report, a team of 31 scientists calculated the natural and manmade greenhouse gas emissions coming in and out of the Amazon Basin.
The team has alerted that the greenhouse gases emitted other than CO2 exceeds the climate benefits Amazon provides by taking in CO2. To make it simple – due to humans, Amazon Basin is now a greenhouse gas emitter.
The study’s lead author Kristofer Covey highlighted that the natural gas emissions from the ecosystem aren’t causing climate change. It is the human disturbance and anthropogenic projects in the basin that are contributing to global warming.
Due to the recent logging, mining, and other projects, Amazon’s ecosystem is degrading and declining. One study has also suggested that the plant coverage was reduced by one-third in the last decade.
On the other hand, climate-changing factors are increasing. The burning of trees in Amazon not only releases CO2 but also methane – a GHG that is 80 times more dangerous than carbon.
Warming of soils and sediments – wetland warming – in the Amazon also contributes to the release of methane and nitrous oxide. Soot from Amazon fires has been found in Andean glaciers, increasing melting and altering hydrology.
Despite the best estimates, scientists have noted uncertainty with the magnitude of emissions from Amazon. This paper has successfully highlighted the gap in the study of the biochemistry of the Amazon Basin, especially with non-CO2 greenhouse gases and other agents of climate change.
The main focus is to reduce emissions is an essential focus to address climate mitigation. The main takeaway from this study is to call arms to prevent further degradation of the Amazon ecosystem.
Via: The Guardian