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  • The investigation reveals that Brazil´s CO2 emissions from deforestation average 500 million tons of CO2 per year.

    The investigation reveals that Brazil´s CO2 emissions from deforestation average 500 million tons of CO2 per year. | Photo: EFE/ Ezequiel Vannoni

Published 1 October 2020
Opinion

Countries of the Amazon basin are probably underestimating their carbon emissions from deforestation by 37%.

Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) reported that fires in the Amazon are the worse in a decade as the satellites recorded 32.017 hotspots in September.

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The figures from last month represent a 61 percent increment compared to the same period in 2019 as the organization says that unlike the previous year, in 2020, the raging blaze has been more constant.

However, a scientist from Inpe also noticed that the fires have a considerable impact not only on the ecosystem and the biodiversity but also on the atmosphere.

Brazilian environmental organization Observatório do Clima explained today that "the countries of the Amazon basin are probably underestimating their carbon emissions from deforestation by 37%." This after Inpe's scientists published a study on the emissions at the edge of forest fragmented by deforestation.

"And when you thought it couldn't get any worse, science, this killjoy, comes to say that we're underestimating emissions by deforestation by a third."
 
The investigation reveals that Brazil's CO2 emissions from deforestation average 500 million tons of CO2 per year, which, as explained by Observatório do Clima, vastly surpass emission from passenger transport in the country. This sector in 2018 reported emissions of 100 million tons of CO2.
 
"Keeping the carbon stored in the forests is crucial to avoid worsening the global climate crisis. In the tropical region, forests are converted into areas of agriculture and livestock by the process of deforestation," the study explains.
 
According to scientists, "the deforestation process fragments the forest landscape, cutting out continuous forests and increasing areas of contact with another type of land use, such as pasture or agricultural area." 
 
Moreover, the raging fires, one of the leading causes of deforestation, can remarkably modify the tree's mortality at the edge of the forests and diminish the land's capacity, that has not been deforested yet, to storage C02. 
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