Amazon trees holds the key to helping with global warming

Diane DeVillers
Posted May 1, 2015 from United States

Amazon trees can show slowering global warming.

From the article

Within the botanical menagerie that makes up the Amazon rainforest, which is so important it’s frequently dubbed the “lungs of the planet,” scientists have pinpointed a small number of tree species that are doing the heaviest breathing as they help to slow global warming.

Their discovery—that 182 species store half the rainforest’s woodbound carbon—suggests that the future of the world’s climate, and the contours of its coastal areas, are intertwined with the fate of this small portion of an estimated 16,000 Amazonian tree species.

Despiteongoing loggingandrecent drought, the Amazon is home to perhaps a sixth of the carbon stored in living vegetation the world over, helping to keep levels of climate-changing carbon dioxide down in the atmosphere.

“The Amazon is a massively important carbon stock, and it’s currently acting as a carbon sink,” Leeds University’sSophie Fauset, who led the research, said. “What we’re trying to do is increase our understanding of where this carbon is going; which trees are storing it.”

The findings were published Tuesdayin Nature Communicationsfollowing analysis of data covering 530 areas. The most common tree identified in the study, a variety of palm known to scientists as Iriartea, was also found to hold the most carbon. But the other 181 species identified as the most important for carbon storage weren’t necessarily the most common species in the rainforest. They were species that shared combinations of important features, being relatively abundant, long-living and large-growing.

Comments 1

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Alyssa Rust
May 04, 2015
May 04, 2015

Dear GirlPower,

Thanks for posting this article. I have been volunteering with a local organization for the last 5 years planting trees and doing restoration projects. I also enjoy reading about the amazing power that trees have and how they are helping to keep our planet healthier and greener.

Sincerely, Alyssa Rust