The Guardian reports: The amount of carbon the Amazon’s remaining trees removed from the atmosphere fell by almost a third last decade, leading scientists to warn that manmade carbon emissions would need to be cut more deeply to tackle climate change.
Trees in untouched areas of the forest have been dying off across the basin at an increasing rate, found the study, published in Nature on Wednesday. Meanwhile the tree growth produced by higher CO2 levels in recent decades levelled off.
The authors said this may be because the Amazon’s seasonal weather variation had become more extreme. They also suggested more CO2 in the atmosphere was, counterintuitively, leading to trees dying younger.
Dr Roel Brienen of Leeds University said the Amazon was responsible for one-fifth to one-quarter of carbon sequestered on land, so any decline in its efficiency as a carbon sink was of consequence to efforts to combat climate change. [Continue reading…]