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According To A Recent Study The Amazon Rainforest Is Fueling Global Warming

According to a recent study, the Amazon rainforest is ‘fueling’ global warming by creating more carbon than it absorbs owing to deforestation.

Researchers from the National Institute for Space Research in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, determined that a combination of fires and logging in the rainforest had caused significant areas to shift from being an essential ‘carbon sink’ to being a carbon emitter.

This shift is exacerbating the global warming situation, which is contributing to an increase in ‘severe weather occurrences,’ according to the team, who claim that ‘every year it gets worse.’

They discovered that southeastern Amazonia, which makes up around 20% of the entire region, has converted to being a significant supplier of CO2.

Professor Simon Lewis, a climatic change expert at UCL who was not involved in the study, told MailOnline that this is future more proof of the urgent need to achieve net zero carbon emissions as soon as possible to avoid further climate damage.

According to a new study, the Amazon rainforest is ‘fueling’ global warming, with big sections emitting more carbon than they absorb owing to deforestation. A combination of fires and logging in the rainforest has seen significant regions flip from becoming an crucial ‘carbon sink’ to being a carbon emitter, according to experts at the National Institute for Space Research in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil.

According to Global Ocean Review, the Amazon rainforest has 200 billion tonnes, Siberian permafrost contains 950 billion tonnes, and the Arctic contains 1,600 billion tonnes. Oceans contain up to 38,000 gigatonnes.

Humans, on the other hand, produce an estimated 36 billion tonnes of carbon every year.

Professor Luciana Gatti, the study’s lead author, said deforestation and regional climate change are endangering the rainforest’s ability to store carbon in the atmosphere.

Without deforestation, the rainforest would be able to absorb some of the carbon released by human activities, preventing the worst effects of climate change.

Due to fires and logging, millions of trees have been killed, which means they can no longer absorb CO2 from the air when they grow, and instead emit CO2 as they die.

This complicates UN efforts to keep global average temperatures from rising more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit beyond pre-industrial levels by 2100, a target that some research show we may exceed in the coming decade.

Amazonia is home to the world’s largest tropical forest, and its gleaming green leaves aid in the storage of carbon in the atmosphere.

They operate as a ‘carbon sink’ by converting greenhouse gas into carbohydrates, which are stored in the woody trunks and branches.

This shift is exacerbating the global warming crisis, which is leading to an rise in ‘extreme weather events,’ such as forest fires, and the team claims that ‘each year it gets worse.’ THE KEY GOALS OF THE PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT The Paris Agreement on Climate Change has four main goals in terms of reducing emissions: a long-term goal of maintaining the increase in global average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius; a medium-term goal of keeping the increase in

Professor Gatti stated, “Factors such as deforestation and climate change are thought to have spurred a drop in capacity.”

The discovery is based on 590 observations of carbon dioxide and monoxide concentrations over nearly a decade in the Amazonia region, which is suggestive of ecological health.

From 2010 to 2018, researchers flew over four sites in the Amazon basin every two weeks in planes equipped with sensors.

To find the shift, they looked at the troposphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere that spans up to three miles above sea level.

The southeastern part of Amazonia, which makes up around 20% of the overall jungle, has been hit the hardest.

‘Stress on local ecosystems and an increase in fire occurrence – aided by an intensification of the dry season and deforestation – could be to blame for the increased emissions,’ Professor Gatti said.

‘Deforestation and climatic change may have long-term, severe effects for both the region’s carbon balance and the fragility of its ecosystems,’ according to the study authors. Logging in Brazil reached a 12-year high in 2020, up over 10% from the previous year.

By storing up to 200 gigatons of carbon – the equivalent of five years’ worth of human emissions – the Amazon helps to curb global warming.

It’s becoming a carbon source faster than expected, according to the researchers, who include employees from the universities of Exeter and Leeds.

The rainforest, at 2.72 million square miles, is about the size of the United States, encompassing 40% of the South American continent.

The authors of the study warned that more than half of the Amazon rainforest might be converted to savanna in the next 30 years. They measured forestation against rainfall and temperature, as well as average emissions, over a nine-year period by flying over four sites every two weeks with sensors. CARBON SINK SHIFT: WHY DOES IT MATTER?

Sections of the Amazon rainforest are becoming carbon emitters rather than carbon sinks.

But why is this an international issue?

‘Around a quarter of all the carbon dioxide humans generate into the atmosphere is taken up by the biosphere – mainly by our forests,’ says Professor Mark Maslin of UCL and author of Penguin’s ‘How to Preserve Our Planet.’

‘Yet, deforestation caused by logging, agriculture, wildfires, and climate change is diminishing the number of trees and their ability to absorb pollution.’

‘According to a recent study published in Nature, this transition from absorbing to releasing carbon has already begun in extensive sections of the southeast Amazonia.’

‘If this trend continues, it will be considerably more difficult to achieve global net carbon zero by 2050, which is why we must maintain and, if possible, grow the world’s forests.’ Advertisement For decades, experts have warned of an ‘Amazon tipping point,’ where the Amazon’s ability to replenish itself is lost.

For the next 30 years, more than half of the land could be converted to savanna.

According to Professor Gatti, total carbon emissions are higher in the eastern half of Amazonia than in the western part.

He explained that this was mostly due to variances in carbon-monoxide-derived fire emissions around the globe, with the south eastern Amazonia in particular functioning as a net carbon supply to the atmosphere.

‘During the last 40 years, eastern Amazonia has been subjected to more deforestation, warming, and moisture stress than western Amazonia, especially during the dry season,’ he said.

‘In our study locations, we investigate the impact of climate change and deforestation trends on carbon emissions, and find that the lengthening of the dry season and increased deforestation appear to enhance ecosystem stress, increased fire occurrence, and higher carbon emissions in the eastern Amazon.’

Professor Scott Denning, a climate scientist at Colorado State University who was not involved in the study, called it as ‘worrying.’ ‘Atmospheric data suggest that deforestation and rapid local warming have reduced or eliminated tree mortality and photosynthesis as a result of climatic changes across Amazonia.’

‘During the past 40 years, eastern Amazon sites have warmed by as much as 0.6 degrees Celsius (1.08 degrees Fahrenheit) every decade during the dry season,’ they discovered through comprehensive measurements. southeastern Amazonia – around 20% of the entire area – transitioned to becoming a significant source of CO2. Professor Simon Lewis, a climate change expert from UCL who was not involved in the study, told MailOnline this is yet more evidence.

Is there a way to stop the Amazon rainforest from adding to global climate emissions and further fueling global warming?

Professor Simon Lewis of University College London, a climate change expert, believes there is, but that we must act swiftly.

‘The good news is that we can take action.’

Preventing deforestation and forest fires eliminates carbon emissions,’ he explained.

‘Slowing deforestation also reduces climatic consequences because rainforests partly make their own rainfall and cool the land.

‘Beyond that, rapidly reducing carbon emissions to net zero will halt global warming and prevent the negative feedback from worsening.’

‘The south east Amazon sink to source tale is yet another clear warning that climate impacts are accelerating and will continue to do so until carbon emissions reach net zero,’ he said, adding that this increase is three times the average rate of global warming and similar to the rate being seen in the Arctic.

He claims that this research demonstrates that the uncertain future that has been forecasted is currently taking place.

Professor Simon Lewis of University College London, who was not involved in the study, told MailOnline that the findings were “really astounding.” “Measurements of carbon dioxide up into the atmosphere tell us how the entire Amazon rainforest system is changing, rather than just one aspect, such as how much forest is lost, or changes within intact forests,” he said.

‘The really terrible news is that the Amazon rainforest’s potential to absorb carbon is deteriorating.’

The remaining forest in the Amazon’s south east has now shifted to a gradually rising source of carbon to the atmosphere,’ he said, adding that deforestation and climate change cause carbon to be released from the remaining forest, reinforcing warming.

Professor Lewis told MailOnline, ‘I’m concerned that without intervention, increasing portions of the Amazon rainforest would become carbon sources in the atmosphere.’

‘The good news is that we can take action.’

Deforestation and forest fires must be stopped in order to reduce carbon emissions.

‘Slowing deforestation also reduces climatic consequences because rainforests partly make their own rainfall and cool the land.

‘Beyond that, rapidly reducing carbon emissions to net zero will halt global warming and prevent the positive feedback from worsening,’ the researchers write in Nature.

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