The drought in the Amazon could actually contribute to global warming because some areas are so dry. Many trees are dying from lack of rain, which means they stop absorbing carbon dioxide and start releasing gases. If trees are breathing out more than they’re absorbing, they’re technically contributing to global warming instead of preventing it.
Just to expand on the above question, the cumulative consequences of the 2005 and 2010 drought have been severe. In an average year, the Amazon absorbs approximately 1.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This is because as the trees grow, they suck CO2 from the atmosphere and store it internally. However, the 2010 drought affected 3 million square kilometers of the forest. The water stress placed on the trees in this area not only prevented them from absorbing their usual CO2, but due to dead and dying trees, could actually resulted in a net emission of nearly 5 billion tonnes of CO2. This is equal to the total average CO2 emissions of the United States in a given year.
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