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Amazon Forests Emitting Carbon dioxide

Amazon Forests:

According to a recent study, Amazon Forests have started emitting Carbon dioxide (CO2) instead of absorbing it.

  • Growing trees and plants have taken up about a quarter of all fossil fuel emissions since 1960, with the Amazon playing a major role as the largest tropical forest.

Findings:

  • A significant amount of deforestation (over the course of 40 years) in eastern and southeastern Brazil has turned the forest into a source of CO2 that has the ability to warm the planet.
  • It might have also affected a long-term decrease in rainfall and increase in temperatures during the dry season.
  • Not only the Amazon rainforests, some forests in Southeast Asia have also turned into carbon sources in the last few years as a result of formation of plantations and fires.
  • Forest fires have doubled since 2013. One reason that they happen is when farmers burn their land to clear it for the next crop.
  • Most of the emissions are caused by fires.
  • A part of the Amazon emitting carbon even without fires was particularly worrying. This was most likely the result of each year’s deforestation and fires making adjacent forests more susceptible the next year.

Amazon Rainforests:

  • These are large tropical rainforests occupying the drainage basin of the Amazon River and its tributaries in northern South America.
  • Tropical forests are closed-canopy forests growing within 28 degrees north or south of the equator.
  • They are very wet places, receiving more than 200 cm rainfall per year, either seasonally or throughout the year.
  • Temperatures are uniformly high – between 20°C and 35°C.
  • Such forests are found in Asia, Australia, Africa, South America, Central America, Mexico and on many of the Pacific Islands.
  • The Amazon rainforests cover about 80% of the Amazon basin and they are home to nearly a fifth of the world’s land species and is also home to about 30 million people including hundreds of indigenous groups and several isolated tribes.

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