The analysis, carried out by researchers at the University of Leeds, is quite unsettling. In 1990’s, the forests used to consume about two billion tons of CO2 per year, but that number has been cut by nearly half.
For many decades, the mostly unpopulated Amazon rainforest functioned as among the most significant ‘carbon sink’ on the planet, by consuming significantly greater quantities of CO2 than it released. Carbon sinks are critical for the surroundings as they assist in retarding the process of climate change and facilitating the greenhouse effect by converting CO2 into oxygen. Now, the efficiency of the rainforests has been reduced significantly with the mass destruction of trees, among other things.
In the study, scientists examined 321 plots of forests throughout the Amazon and identified and quantified 200,000 different types of trees. In addition, they recorded tree removal and increases since 1980’s. The study’s co-author, Professor Oliver Phillips from the University of Leeds School of Geography, said that, “With time, the development stimulation runs through the system, causing trees to dwell quicker, and so perish younger.”
Apart from cutting down trees, the observed occurrences are also related to significantly higher temperatures and droughts throughout the Amazon. Roel Brienen, also from the University’s School of Geography said, “Climate change versions that contain plant life reactions suppose that as long as carbon dioxide amounts keep rising, then the Amazon will continue to collect carbon. Our study suggests that this might not be the situation and that tree mortality procedures are crucial in this system.”
“Amazon Rainforest Absorbing Less Carbon Dioxide with High Tree Mortality | Voice Chronicle.” Voice Chronicle. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2015. http://www.voicechronicle.com/201503-amazon-rainforest-absorbing-less-carbon-dioxide-with-high-tree-mortality