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Sun Jul 18, 2021, 04:24 AM

Amazon Rainforests Are Now Releasing More Carbon Than They Absorb

For generations, Amazonia, which spans more than two million square miles, was a reliable carbon sink, meaning that it naturally absorbed high levels of carbon dioxide from the air, and it played an important role in keeping the global environment stable.

Findings from the nearly decade-long research project, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, suggest that deforestation and fire, among other factors, have dramatically undercut the Amazon's ability to absorb heat-trapping carbon emissions from the atmosphere.

"The Amazon is a carbon source. No doubt," Luciana Gatti, a researcher at Brazil's National Institute for Space Research who led the study, said in an interview with environmental news site Mongabay. "By now we can say that the budget for the Amazon is 0.3 billion tons of carbon per year [released] into the atmosphere. It's a horrible message."

Gatti said that were it not for the emissions from man-made fires, the southeastern part of the Amazon could have continued to be a "carbon sink," meaning it absorbs more CO2 than it lets out. The region is now at a "tipping point," Gatti said. But when faced with the question of whether these disastrous effects could be reversed if we started now, she answered, "I don't know."
https://www.npr.org/2021/07/15/1016469317/parts-of-the-amazon-rainforest-are-now-releasing-more-carbon-than-they-absorb

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