Most likely they do, or will in the coming years. Sadly, a recent study suggests that a 2 degrees centigrade increase in temperature will destroy up to 40% of the Amazon rainforest over the next century. Unfortunately, that is a modest estimate. Higher temperatures will decrease rainfall, causing a drought and forest shrinkage. While those living in the Amazon today might not experience the effects of global warming, there is no doubt that they will in the future.
What an interesting question! A 2004 study of trees in pristine patches of the Amazon revealed some very odd growth patterns. Researchers found that of the tree species monitored over the course of the 15-year study, 18 species of slow-growing trees became significantly rarer, while two species of tall, faster-growing trees became much more populous. After controlling for all other variables, the researchers concluded that the faster-growing trees’ growth was fueled by rising CO2 levels – the greater the CO2, the faster the photosynthesis, the faster the photosynthesis the greater growth in trees. The worrying thing about is that the smaller, slower growing trees are actually better carbon holders – thus this anomalous growth may significantly interfere with the rainforest’s ability to act as an effective carbon sink.
I just read an article on the BBC about droughts in the Amazon. The 2005 drought was deemed a ‘once in a century’ event, and yet again in 2010 the Amazon river was at its lowest point in half a century. The frightening thing here is that extreme droughts like these turn the Amazon area into a net emitter of carbon instead of a net absorber. The article here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12356835
Click here to cancel reply.
Sorry,At this time user registration is disabled. We will open registration soon!
Don't have an account? Click Here to Signup
© Copyright GreenAnswers.com LLC