In this file:
· ‘Biggest story in the world right now’: Humanity has flipped Amazon from carbon sink to source
· CNBC: The Amazon rainforest is now releasing more carbon than it can absorb, study finds
‘Biggest story in the world right now’: Humanity has flipped Amazon from carbon sink to source
The findings, said one expert, “show that the uncertain future is happening now.”
By Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams
via Nation of Change - July 15, 2021
Following years of warnings and mounting fears among scientists, “terrifying” research revealed Wednesday that climate change and deforestation have turned parts of the Amazon basin, a crucial “sink,” into a source of planet-heating carbon dioxide.
Though recent research has elevated concerns about the Amazon putting more CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than it absorbs, the new findings, published in the journal Nature, were presented as a “first” by scientists and climate reporters.
From 2010 to 2018, researchers for the new study—led by Luciana Gatti of Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research—conducted “vertical profiling measurements” of carbon dioxide and monoxide a few miles above the tree canopy at four sites in Amazonia.
The researchers found that “Southeastern Amazonia, in particular, acts as a net carbon source” and “total carbon emissions are greater in eastern Amazonia than in the western part.” The former, they noted, has been “subjected to more deforestation, warming, and moisture stress” than the latter in recent decades.
As The New York Times reported Wednesday:
In an accompanying article in Nature, Scott Denning, a professor in the department of atmospheric science at Colorado State University, wrote that the paper’s “atmospheric profiles show that the uncertain future is happening now.”
In an emailed response to questions, Dr. Denning praised the new study as the first real large-scale measurement—from various altitudes across thousands of kilometers and remote sectors—of the phenomenon, an advance beyond the traditional measurement at forest sites. The results show “that warming and deforestation in eastern Amazonia have reversed the carbon sink at regional scale and that the change is actually showing up in atmospheric CO2,” he wrote.
Gatti told The Guardian that “the first very bad news is that forest-burning produces around three times more CO2 than the forest absorbs. The second bad news is that the places where deforestation is 30% or more show carbon emissions 10 times higher than where deforestation is lower than 20%.”
According to the newspaper—which noted the role of emissions from deliberately set fires for beef and soy production as well as the global criticism that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has faced for encouraging the soaring deforestation:
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The Amazon rainforest is now releasing more carbon than it can absorb, study finds
Chloe Taylor, CNBC
Jul 15 2021
The Amazon rainforest is emitting more carbon emissions than it can absorb, according to a new study.
The rainforest was once a carbon sink — meaning it absorbed more carbon than it released — but it now accounts for more than 1 billion metric tons of emissions every year, mainly due to forest fires and deforestation.
The nine-year research project, published Wednesday, was led by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research in partnership with scientists from several countries, including the U.S., the Netherlands and New Zealand.
Drones collected samples to measure carbon levels in four locations across the Amazon, with the study’s long timeframe allowing the researchers to account for year-to-year variations in the forest’s carbon levels.
The carbon balance — the final balance between emissions and the absorption of carbon — of the Amazon showed that it released 1.06 billion metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere per year between 2010 and 2018. According to the study, 0.87 billion metric tons of emissions came from the Brazilian Amazon...
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