Image: Within the Amazon rainforest
According to an article which was posted to the Physorg.com website, scientists are shocked to have learned that the drought which afflicted the Amazon region during the year 2010 was more devastating than the drought which hit the region in the year 2005. The article which you can read at:
states the following:
"Two unusual and extreme droughts occurring within a decade may largely offset the carbon absorbed by intact Amazon forests during that time. If events like this happen more often, the Amazon rainforest would reach a point where it shifts from being a valuable carbon sink slowing climate change, to a... major source of greenhouse gasses that could speed it up."!!
This certainly is disturbing news!! As stated in the article: "The unusual drought, affecting south-western Amazonia, was described by scientists at the time as a 'one-in-100-year event' (2), but just five years later the region was struck by a similar extreme drought that caused the Rio Negro tributary of the Amazon river to fall to its lowest level on record."
"Amazon forests will not absorb their usual 1.5 billion tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere in both 2010 and 2011, and that a further 5 billion tonnes of CO2 will be released to the atmosphere over the coming years once the trees that are killed by the new drought rot!!"
"Considerable uncertainty remains surrounding the impacts of climate change on the Amazon. This new research adds to a body of evidence suggesting that severe droughts will become more frequent leading to important consequences for Amazonian forests. "
Of course the big question these scientists must be trying to answer is: Why are these droughts are occurring in the region?
In an article entitled, "Amazon Drought Worst in 100 Years" written on October 24th,2005 at the
http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/oct2005/2005-10-24-05.asp website, it is stated:
"The drought is caused by three factors, ... the warming of the Atlantic Ocean, reduction in arboreal transpiration, and the smoke emitted by forest burnings.""The chief reason is the warming of the Northern Tropical Ocean, which is up to two degrees warmer than average," he said.
Clearly this new drought suggests that these three factors still are in existence in the region and have caused this latest drought to occur. The warming of the Northern Tropical Ocean must apparently still occurring, which also causes one to wonder what is happening to the life in this ocean because of this increase in temperature of the water?
"Greenpeace say the droughts and resulting deforestation have grave consequences."
"Marcio Astrini, Green Peace Amazon Campaign Coordinator]:
"It leads to land grabbing, evasion of borders, destruction of natural resources, and also brings consequences of global warming because of the emission of gases that cause the world's temperatures to rise and which will make these natural disasters more intense and more frequent harming the populations of these areas as well as the entire planet."
"Some scientists say severe droughts—which kill trees and make them more vulnerable to fires—are part of a damaging cycle that is bringing the Amazon closer to a "tipping point," at which its destruction becomes self sustaining."
"The warming of the atmosphere caused by increases in greenhouse gases is melting glaciers and causing ocean water to warm and expand thermally. Both effects increase the volume of the ocean, raising its surface level."
Here is a link to a website which will tell you about 50 things you can do as an individual to stop global warming:
We all need to change our behavior if these massive and profound effects of global warming (such as the droughts in the Amazon) are to be curtailed!
Source of image:http://en.comunicas.org/files/2010/12/amazon-forest.jpg