A severe drought in the Amazon rainforest in 2005 has caused a huge release of CO2 into the atmosphere, and researchers predict that another drought in 2010 could release an even higher amount than the drought in 2005. The droughts cause trees to die, releasing CO2, and also stop the absorption of CO2. The 2005 drought may have released 5 billion tonnes of CO2, an amount comparable to all the CO2 released from fossil fuel use in the US in 2009.
Many researchers have hoped that the Amazon can play a big role in absorbing CO2, but, if the droughts continue, it could actually release more than it absorbs.
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