Devastating News: The Amazon Rainforest Is Releasing more Carbon than it Absorbs

The Amazon rainforest is the key to the health of our planet. For decades, campaigns have been organized by conservationist groups to save this essential terrain.

But the problems that the rainforest is facing aren’t stopping. On the contrary, they seem to be getting worse. The rainforest got back into the spotlight in 2019 when major fires ravaged the precious forest.

Now, for the first time, scientists have confirmed that the Amazon is releasing more CO2 than the amount it’s capable of absorbing. This is bad news since the forest’s capacity to absorb CO2 has been the key to the balancing of global carbon emissions.

The Amazon Rainforest Is Officially Releasing more Carbon than it Absorbs

The study published recently showed that the Brazilian rainforest is giving off around 20 percent more CO2 than it absorbed in the period from 2010 to 2019.

Deforestation and the fires directly influenced this data since there was a difference between the eastern and western areas of the rainforest.

According to the lead author of the study, Dr. Luciana Gatti from the Brazil INPE, in the east of the rainforest, which is approximately 30 percent deforested, there was 10 times higher release of carbon than in the west where the deforestation is around 11 percent.

This news confirms that there are permanent and severe consequences to the relaxing conservation laws and the failure to enforce proper laws. The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has come under fire for his lax environmental policies that included a major budget reduction for the environmental agency of the country.

Moreover, in 2019, Bolsonaro also fired the then-director of INPE for releasing the deforestation figures to the public.

Record Temperatures Noted in the Amazon Rainforest

The southeast region of the Amazon is witnessing record temperatures. In the two hottest months of the year, the temperatures were three times the global average and are comparable to the temperature rise seen in the Arctic.

Another contributing factor is the absence of precipitation that scientists emphasize is related to the change of climate.

For Dr. Gatti, there are a lot of issues with precipitation like the electricity from hydropower becoming more costly and heavy loss in agriculture.

She emphasizes the need of associating these changes with the deforestation of the Amazon and change this faulty behavior.

Is There a Solution to this Major Problem?

Some EU countries are looking to make a deal with Brazil and other countries. For example, Ireland, Austria, and France said that they won’t sign the agreement unless Bolsonaro pledges to do more about the rainforest.

Bolsonaro had claimed in the past that the rainforest is pristine and issued a 120-day ban on unauthorized outdoor fires. However, without proper and ongoing change, this won’t suffice.

If you want to make a difference, you can help protect the rainforest, regardless of where you live. No matter how small, every help is welcomed when it comes to the Amazon and it’s urgent to do something before the damage becomes unstoppable.