The climate in the Amazon has been changing over the last few decades. The average temperature in the basin rose about 1º Celsius (1.8° Fahrenheit) between 1979 and 2018, with increases of up to 1.5ºC (2.7°F) in some regions. And there have been three “one-in-a-century” episodes of extreme drought in the last 15 years: in 2005, 2010 and 2015. When the forest becomes too hot, trees need more water to cope. Extreme temperatures have a huge impact on the forest: When temperatures exceed 32.2°C (90°F), forests begin to lose biomass and release carbon, a large international study has found. The authors estimate that these temperatures will affect most of the Amazon by mid-century, even if greenhouse gas emissions are curbed. As the region becomes hotter and drier, the forest is beginning to adapt. Recent research shows that trees that thrive in moist environments are dying and being replaced by species that are more adapted to dry conditions. “If you stop to think that forests that don’t have a direct human action are changing in such a drastic way that we can detect them with data from 30 years, that by itself is something worrying to me,” says Adriane Esquivel-Muelbert, an ecologist at the University of Birmingham who was the lead author of the study. She also notes that these new species grow faster and die earlier than the ones they are replacing. “With that increased turnover rate their carbon stocks will likely be much lower because they are smaller and…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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