Rate of rainforest loss in Australia has doubled in the past 35 years

(ORDO NEWS) — The rate of rainforest loss in northern Australia has doubled in the past 35 years. This is evidenced by data from researchers from James Cook University.

In the course of a large-scale international study conducted in the north of the Australian continent since 1985, scientists were able to find out that tropical trees in the forests of the continent are disappearing faster due to the negative effects of global climate change.

Susan Lawrence, professor of tropical ecology at James Cook University, said the number of annual tree deaths in northern Australia’s forests “has doubled in the last 35 years.”

Scientists note that due to global warming, not only the tropical trees of the northern forests of Australia are dying out, this phenomenon has a negative impact on “the entire diversity of species in all regions of the continent”, but it is the rapid disappearance of forests that is of particular concern because of their ability to absorb carbon dioxide. gas and stabilize the temperature of the planet.

Oxford University professor Jadwinder Mali, who took part in the study, said that “there has been a lot of talk in recent years about the impact of climate change on the corals of the Great Barrier Reef, but Australia’s rainforests are changing no less radically.”

“We believe that all the tropical forests of the world are undergoing similar changes. If so, then our goal of limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius becomes both more urgent and more difficult,” Mali said.

The researchers noted that after their death, forest trees no longer absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and when their trunks decompose, they themselves begin to emit CO2, turning into an additional source of greenhouse gases.

The loss of biomass in Australia’s rainforests over the past 35 years has not been offset by the planting of new trees, significantly reducing their ecological and climate potential, scientists say.


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