Study: Tropical forest carbon capture capabilities peaked in the 1990s

A new study shows that the ability of tropical forests around the world to absorb carbon dioxide is rapidly declining, and that capacity plays an important role in slowing global warming,media reported. The study, which analyzed hundreds of forests in the Amazon and around Africa and their ability to capture carbon over the past 30 years, found that carbon capture might have actually peaked in the 1990s.

Study: Tropical forest carbon capture capabilities peaked in the 1990s


The study was carried out by an international team led by scientists from the University of Leeds. The researchers looked at 300,000 trees that had lived in the past 30 years. The trees come from 565 tropical forests in Africa and the Amazon, and scientists use data collected regularly on tree height and tree deaths to calculate changes in the amount of carbon they can store.

Scientists conclude that tropical forests absorbed about 46 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the air in the 1990s; As part of total human carbon emissions, tropical forests reduced carbon dioxide by 17% in the 1990s, compared with only 6% in the 1910s.

Dr. Wannes Hubau, lead author of the rescue, said the presence of additional carbon dioxide has boosted tree growth, but this effect is offset annually by the negative effects of high temperatures and droughts, which slow tree growth and kill trees. There will be a long-term decline in the carbon sinkinading in Africa in the future, while the carbon sinkinther in the Amazon basin will continue to weaken rapidly, which we predict will be a source of carbon by the mid-30s. “

The study also reveals another phenomenon, the rate of deforestation and its relationship to carbon emissions. It is understood that in the same period, deforestation rates have increased by 46 per cent and the area of primary forests has decreased by 19 per cent.

“The immediate threat to tropical forests is deforestation, logging and fires,” says the University of Leeds’ School of Geography

Professor Simon Lewis, senior author of the study, said: “These need to be urgent action. In addition, stabilizing the Earth’s climate is necessary to stabilize the carbon balance of complete tropical forests. By raising carbon dioxide emissions to net zero emissions faster than currently envisaged, it is possible to avoid making complete tropical forests a major source of atmospheric carbon. Yet the window of this possibility is closing rapidly. “

While saving the world’s tropical forests to significantly reduce carbon emissions is certainly a priority, there are other often overlooked carbon sinks that require sustained attention, including the concentration of resources on conservation and regeneration of tundra and seagrass pastures, both of which have better carbon capture capabilities but are declining due to human activities.