Amazon at risk due to droughts

February 4th, 2011

The weather phenomena of the last five years have produced an alarming quantity of carbon dioxide, alerts study.

The Amazon could cease to be a natural absorber of contaminants produced by man. This is because, in the past five years, two serious droughts have occurred, destroying plant life that normally absorbs many of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide.

A team of investigators from Great Britain and Brazil analysed the rainfall figures of several million square kilometers of rainforest during the summer of 2010. The study undertaken revealed the most recent drought was far more widespread than that of 2005. Some 5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide were released through plant loss.

“If events like this happen more often, the Amazon would no longer be a place that cleans CO2 from the atmosphere slowing climate change, it would release enough CO2 to accelerate it”, informed the lead researcher Simon Lewis of Leeds University.

Bare in mind, the amount of CO2 released by the most recent drought is equivalent to one year of emissions by the United States.

Tags: , , ,