Drought in Amazons reverses carbon absorption
The rainforests increased an average of 270 million tons of additional carbon annually in the three years following the 2005 drought.
Scientists have reported that periodic droughts in Amazon rainforests have reversed carbon absorption.
An international research team working at NASA’s Jet Itki Laboratory found that the Amazon basin had an average of 270 million tons of additional carbon annually in the three years following the drought in their study of the 2005 drought in the Amazon Forests.
It is said that this function of rainforests, which is called the “carbon storage” of the earth and absorbs 1 in 10 fossil fuel emissions in the world, is reversed during the arid periods and this causes a large amount of carbon to be released.
In 2010 and 2015, when drought periods were experienced, carbon absorption was reduced in the recovery phase.
Scientists have warned that if similar periods of drought increase, the Amazons may turn out to be a rainforest and turn into a dry tropical forest.
“The ecosystem has become so sensitive to these warming and periodic drought events that depending on their severity and the area they cover, what we call carbon stock can turn into a carbon source,” said NASA expert Sassan Saatchi, who led the survey.
The results of the research were published in Nature magazine.