A new study finds that the Brazilian Amazon could be moving from being a carbon storehouse to a carbon source — putting the regional and global climate at great risk. Intensifying wildfires could contribute to that shift happening by mid-century.
"The Amazon contains millions of species, most of them still undescribed, and some of the world's most unusual wildlife. It is one of Earth's last refuges for jaguars, harpy eagles and pink dolphins, and home to thousands of birds and butterflies.
"The destruction of the Amazon rainforest is rapidly releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, destroying an ecosystem that absorbs millions of tons of carbon emissions every year and is one of the planet’s best defenses against the climate crisis.
The Amazon rainforest is the largest tropical forest on Earth, with the highest density of plant and animal species anywhere. This impressive region provides essential ecological services, stabilizing the world’s rainfall patterns and storing massive amounts of carbon that mitigate climate change.