As reported by the National Geographic, the Amazon rainforest has begun to contribute to global warming. Deforestation, combined with drought, have reduced the ability of the Amazon forest to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, releasing more carbon than it retains in the most affected parts The research, supported by the National Geographic Society and published in the journal Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, estimates that atmospheric warming caused by all processes together negates the natural cooling effect of the forest.
Due to human activity, the Amazon rainforest contributes to global warming
Kristofer Covey, professor of environmental studies at Skidmore College in New York, and lead author of the study, said: 'Deforestation interferes with carbon sequestration, and that's a problem.
CO2, one cannot fail to see the overall effect: the Amazon is contributing to global warming." Fiona Soper, co-author of the research and assistant professor at McGill University, added: "Until now we've relied on this ecosystem to compensate for our mistakes, but now we've rendered it unable to do its job." Curbing global emissions from coal, oil and natural gas would help restore the balance, but halting Amazon deforestation is imperative, as are reducing dam construction and ramping up reforestation efforts.
It is now clear that continuing to cut trees will only increase global warming. Activities taking place in the Amazon, both natural and man-made, can alter the contribution of the rainforest in a variety of ways, either by directly heating the air or by releasing other greenhouse gases.
Logging fires release black carbon that absorbs sunlight and increases heat. Deforestation can change rainfall patterns by further drying and warming the forest. Periodic flooding and dam building release the powerful methane gas, also emitted by cattle ranching, a major cause of forest destruction.
After years of deforestation, violence against natives and environmental activists, newly elected president Lula da Silva has placed the protection of the Amazon and indigenous peoples among the primary objectives of his political agenda, but the obstacles are many, starting with those posts during the term of former denier president Jair Bolsonaro.