The Amazon Rainforest has been linked by scientists as a leading factor of increased global warming, due to deforestation and resource extraction at the hands of humans.
How humans ‘complicate natural cycles’ in the Amazon, such as logging and farming, is not only affecting its capability to absorb CO2, but contributing to global warming, reports National Geographic.
Scientists argue the world’s largest rainforest landscape may ‘release more carbon than they store’ and fear the rainforest is now a net contributor to climate change.
Animal agriculture and meat consumption are widely blamed for causing deforestation and fires across the region by scientists and environmentalists worldwide.
The rainforest’s climate is ‘changing fast and in alarming ways’, National Geographic claims and this has wide-reaching impacts on the entire planet.
A recent report assessed the impact of Amazon rainforest destruction over fears it was rapidly approaching ‘tipping point’.
It was conducted by over 30 scientists and published in Frontiers. They looked at the causes behind interference in the Amazon’s capacity to absorb CO2.
‘Activities in the Amazon, both natural and human-caused, can shift the rainforest’s contribution in significant ways’ according to National Geographic.
They can warm the air ‘directly’, or release other greenhouse gases that do. The article lists a range of resource extractions that can alter it. They include damming and soybean production for livestock feed.
Lead author Kristofer Covey told the organization: ‘Cutting the forest is interfering with its carbon uptake; that’s a problem…
‘When you start to look at these other factors alongside CO2, it gets really hard to see how the net effect isn’t that the Amazon as a whole is really warming global climate.’
Human impact on the Amazon Rainforest
Researcher Patrick Megonigal said the impact human activities have on the Amazon is ‘worse than we realize’.
Rising deforestation may alter the ‘flow of moisture’, another research protested in the article. This ‘could lead to the Amazon become a ‘drier woodland savanna’ permanently.
Moreover, humans have ‘diminished’ the rainforest’s capacity for offsetting its natural methane emissions.
Activists urged Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro to halt deforestation. The harmful practice reached an all-time high last year.