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If that happens, climate breakdown is likely to become much more severe in its impacts, and the world will have to cut down much faster on carbon-producing activities to counteract the loss of the carbon sinks.
What’s Happening: Scientists have observed for a while that tropical rainforests have been storing less carbon but this new study highlights the rapid decline of their carbon sequestration capacity.
Rainforests like the Amazon have been viewed by the international community as an important natural tool in fighting climate change, but we’re going to have to come to terms with the fact that forests can only clean up so much of our mess.
As the Guardian went on to explain,
“The uptake of carbon from the atmosphere by tropical forests peaked in the 1990s when about 46bn tonnes were removed from the air, equivalent to about 17% of carbon dioxide emissions from human activities. By the last decade, that amount had sunk to about 25bn tonnes or just 6% of global emissions.”
This loss in sequestration is occurring largely due to trees dying.
Why This Matters: We’re pushing our tropical forests to the brink, as we saw with the devastating Amazon Rainforest fires last year, human activity is an urgent threat to these important and delicate ecosystems. What’s really worth noting here is that governments, like the United States, that are lead by conservative leaders with tendencies to be climate laggards are proposing massive initiatives to plant trees as the basis of their climate strategies. These tree-planting initiatives also come without a significant goal to transition away from fossil fuels or much of the activity that’s contributed to the current state of the climate crisis. This new study shows that trees aren’t going to be effective carbon sinks unless we stop emitting greenhouse gases in the first place.
by Julia Fine, ODP Contributing Writer Climate change is already causing flooding and heatwaves worldwide. Thankfully, one Dutch city has a plan to tackle it. Arnhem, the capital city of the province Gelderland, recently made a 10-year plan to re-landscape the city in order to deal with the impacts of climate change. As part of […]
A recent study published in Science found that a significant percentage of beef and soy exported from Brazil to the EU is connected with illegal deforestation.As YaleE360 reported that “as much as 22 percent of soy and 60 percent of beef…back to illegal tree felling and fires in the Amazon and Cerrado regions.”
Why This Matters: The study’s lead author Raoni Rajão said, “Until now, agribusiness and the Brazilian government have claimed that they cannot monitor the entire supply chain, nor distinguish the legal from the illegal deforestation.” This new study undercuts that idea, showing that Brazil can (and must) monitor agribusiness’ connections to illegal deforestation.
As the World Economic Forum recently wrote, miniature urban forests (often no bigger than a tennis court) planted using a method invented by a Japanese botanist in the 1970s are growing in popularity. Known as “Miyawaki” forests, these dense groups of trees are bursting with biodiversity and grow more quickly and absorb more CO2 than […]
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