The Brazilian Amazonian rainforest may emit more carbon dioxide than it absorbs. According to scientists, this is already happening in some parts of Amazonia. The unfavorable situation in the South American rainforest is caused by climate change and human activity, especially deforestation.
CO2 Measurement in the Amazonia
The Amazonian rainforest is one of the largest natural storages of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the world. According to several hundred local measurements in various rainforest areas between 2010 and 2018, scientists have concluded that the Eastern Amazon is already emitting more carbon dioxide than it can absorb.
Worse results were measured in times of drought. According to scientists, northwestern Amazonia is still in balance because the meteorological conditions and higher humidity are more favorable in the area.
“Clearing and destroying the rainforest reduce the Amazon’s ability to sequester carbon dioxide,” the study says. They point mainly to the deforestation by farmers who want to gain new pastures.
Rising temperatures are another factor that weakens the forest. Climate change and the human factor “call into question the ability of tropical forests to absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide in the future,” said Scott Denning of the University of Colorado.
The study is unique because it is difficult to monitor CO2 retention and release data from the forests. Many areas are difficult for researchers to access. Measurements with the help of satellites are not optimal either, due to the frequent clouds in the region.
The Brazilian government has changed its stance on raising resources from Amazonia. It demands $ 10 billion a year to support rainforests from neighboring countries.