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Climate impact: rainforests may start releasing carbon dioxide by 2050

Jan 14, 2021 20:31 IST

In yet another ghastly consequence of rising temperatures, the Earth's ecosystems, including tropical rainforests, may go from removing carbon from the atmosphere to actually releasing it. This is because the ecosystem's functioning as a carbon sink is dependent on temperature. Scientists at Northern Arizona University used a global network of meteorological sensors to model the carbon exchange of ecosystems for this study. The team’s results show that the tipping point where these natural systems turn into carbon sources could be reached by 2050. Writing in the journal Science Advances, lead researcher Katharyn Duffy said this could create a 'loop where the plants are taking up less carbon, there’s already more carbon in the atmosphere, so there’s more warming, and so on, and so forth.'

Environment