The Amazon has long done its part to balance the global carbon budget, but new evidence suggests the climate scales are tipping in the world’s largest rainforest.  Now, according to a study published today in Nature, the Amazon is emitting more carbon than it captures. “The Amazon is a carbon source. No doubt,” Luciana Gatti, a researcher at Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) and lead author of the study told Mongabay. “By now we can say that the budget for the Amazon is 0.3 billion tons of carbon per year [released] into the atmosphere. It’s a horrible message.” Southeastern Amazonia, in particular, switched from being a carbon sink to a carbon source during the study period. Emissions were high in 2010 because of a dry El Nino year, Gatti says, and she expected to see emissions return to normal afterward, but this never happened. The reason: emissions from fires. Fires burning in the Amazon on August 17,2020 next to the borders of the Kaxarari Indigenous territory, in Labrea, Amazonas state. Felled forests are intentionally lit in the Amazon to clear land for cattle ranching. Photo by Christian Braga / Greenpeace. In the Amazon, forests are often cut during the wet season and burned during the dry season to make way for agribusiness, particularly cattle pasture. According to the study, fire emissions in the Southeastern Amazon are three times larger than the net biome exchange (NBE): a measure of the forest’s carbon uptake plus all emissions from decomposition and…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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