The world’s largest tropical rainforest is the Amazon which acts as an important buffer against human emissions from the atmosphere thus making it easier to stay within the targets set by the Paris Agreement.
The Paris Agreement is a 2015 deal that includes a temperature limit that is to be kept below 2C and efforts should be made to limit it to 1.5C. The deal also includes a long-term emissions goal, as it aims to peak global greenhouse gas emissions and also to achieve a balance between emissions and sinks in the second half of the century.
Recently in a paper on “Amazon forest response to CO2 fertilization dependent on plant phosphorus acquisition,” in the journal Nature Geoscience scientists have simulated the lack of nutrients in the ecosystem. Scientists found that the Amazon Basin is critical to help mitigate climate change for phosphorus-deficient soils reduced projected carbon dioxide uptake by an average of 50% in the Amazon.
Scientists predict that the Amazon and Amazon-like tropical forests will continue to play a vital role as carbon sinks for a number of years to come because of the CO2 fertilization effect.
Researchers involved in the AmazonFACE project monitored tree growth and leaf development aboveground. Amazon-FACE is a long-term initiative to study the direct impact of future elevated CO2 concentrations on the forests of Amazonia.
Recently in social media #PrayForAmazonia went viral as social media users attempted to draw the world’s attention to the Amazon rainforest due to wildfire. According to reports, the wildfire has accelerated rapidly devastating the forest for weeks.
Twitter users have slammed the media for paying too little attention to the Amazon blazes as it plays the most vital role in absorbing planet-warming carbon dioxide. The Amazon is currently facing twin threats; however, the authors of the paper note that the limits placed on CO2 fertilization by phosphorus may mean that the forest is less resilient than previously imagined.