By Paul Homewood
The latest Amazon scare from the Guardian:
The Amazon rainforest is now emitting more carbon dioxide than it is able to absorb, scientists have confirmed for the first time.
The emissions amount to a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, according to a study. The giant forest had previously been a carbon sink, absorbing the emissions driving the climate crisis, but is now causing its acceleration, researchers said.
Most of the emissions are caused by fires, many deliberately set to clear land for beef and soy production. But even without fires, hotter temperatures and droughts mean the south-eastern Amazon has become a source of CO2, rather than a sink.
Growing trees and plants have taken up about a quarter of all fossil fuel emissions since 1960, with the Amazon playing a major role as the largest tropical forest. Losing the Amazon’s power to capture CO2 is a stark warning that slashing emissions from fossil fuels is more urgent than ever, scientists said.
It is not rocket science that burning trees will add CO2 to the atmosphere.
But in the wider scale of things, extra carbon dioxide is helping to green the planet:
Satellite data shows the per cent amount that foliage cover has changed around the world from 1982 to 2010.
And the Amazon is no exception:
In short, the Amazon rainforest will continue to absorb huge quantities of carbon dioxide via photosynthesis. And, of course, the areas cleared to grow crops will also take up carbon dioxide.
The idea that the Amazon rainforest is a carbon sink is in any case a myth. Trees may absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, but carbon is retuned to the soil when they die, from which it returns to the atmosphere and oceans as part of the great carbon cycle. Without this cycle, atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide would drastically fall and the world would be plunged into an ice age.
Curiously,while the Guardian is concerned about Brazilian farmers clearing land for farming, they don’t appear to be bothered about the forests being chopped down in Europe and North America for burning in Drax and other biomass plants – all conveniently certified as “zero carbon” by the EU.
Or for that matter the scandal of rainforests being burned down in South East Asia, to expand biofuel crops for the EU:
BRUSSELS, July 5 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – European Union targets to boost biofuel use are likely to have led to the deforestation of an area roughly the size of the Netherlands over the last decade to expand soy, palm and other oil crops, a report said on Monday.
About 4 million hectares (9 million acres) of forests mainly in Southeast Asia and South America have been cleared since 2011 – including about 10% of remaining orangutan habitat, according to estimates by campaign group Transport and Environment (T&E).
It is a commonly held myth that deforestation in Brazil is all Jair Bolsonaro’s fault. In fact it has been ongoing since the 1960s, but the rate of deforestation has declined markedly since the early 2000s:
In short, the Amazon is not under any threat at all.
via NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT
July 21, 2021