tropical forests absorb 18% of co2 emissions: study - carbon dioxide absorbent
According to a new study, trees in tropical forests are becoming larger and larger, absorbing almost the fifth carbon dioxide emitted in the world.
Researchers from various institutions
Including the University of Leeds, the University of Yaoundé, Cameroon and the University of Toronto --
Data collected from 79 complete forest regions in 10 African countries from 1968 to 2007 were studied.
They found that on average, the trees in the complete forest area of Africa absorb another 0 trees.
63 tons of carbon per hectare per year
Far beyond expectations.
Based on these results, the researchers found that tropical African forests are responsible for the absorption of this substance.
There are 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year.
The study will be published on Thursday in the journal Nature.
The researchers analyzed the results using data from 156 complete forest regions from 20 countries around the world, and found that tropical forests were responsible for absorbing about 4.
8 billion tons of carbon per year.
Simon Lewis, lead author of the paper, said in a statement: "We are receiving free subsidies from nature . ".
"Tropical forest trees absorb about carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels every year, which greatly buffers the rate of climate change.
The researchers pointed out that the carbon dioxide emitted by human activities was 32 billion tons, of which only 15 billion tons were left in the air.
In 17 billion tons of uncirculated oceans, half are absorbed by the ocean, and the rest are absorbed somewhere on land, the researchers said.
"According to our study, about half of the carbon" land sinks "in tropical forest trees," said Lewis, a student at the University of Leeds, USA. K.
But the researchers say tropical forests cannot be considered a permanent repository of carbon.
As forests grow, they absorb carbon from the atmosphere, but when trees die, the opposite is true.
Without the death of dramatic and steep trees (
Due to incidents such as forest fires or deforestation)
The rate at which trees in the forest grow is ultimately equal to the rate at which they die.
Therefore, the researchers said that in the absence of net carbon absorption or release, the forest should eventually reach a state of equilibrium.
The researchers presented two possible reasons to explain why tropical forests today are not yet balanced and show an increased tendency to absorb carbon dioxide.
There is a theory that the forest is still recovering from past trauma.
This process can take hundreds or thousands of years.
Another explanation is that these rainforests have lost their balance due to global climate change.
The authors say excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere effectively fertilizes trees.
But the reason, the researchers say, is still cloudy.
We can't rely on this sink forever for whatever reason.
"Even if we keep all the remaining tropical forests, these trees will not become bigger indefinitely," Lewis said . ".
"In the future, it is very uncertain whether the remaining complete forests will continue to seal up carbon, become neutral, or become a net source of carbon," the study said . ".
"In order to better understand this trajectory, it is necessary to improve the monitoring and modeling of the tropical environment.
Researchers say their research shows why the rainforest should be protected.
"Mainly rich polluting countries should transfer a lot of resources to countries with tropical forests to reduce deforestation and promote alternative development pathways," Lewis said . ".