Environmental scientists have revealed shocking news that parts the Amazon rainforest are emitting more carbon dioxide than they are absorbing. The scientists said the forest is now producing a billion tons CO2 a year. They say the Amazon used to be a carbon "sink". This is where CO2 was sucked and converted into oxygen. However, it has now become a source carbon dioxide. The forest is risk of losing its moniker of being the lungs of the world. Researchers are predicting the rainforest will create more CO2 an accelerating rate in the future. The biggest culprits the Amazon's flipping sink to source are logging, deforestation and a growing number forest fires.
The research the Amazon's CO2 emissions has been published the journal "Nature". Researchers analysed 600 profiles of CO2 and carbon monoxide emissions produced fires at various sites in Brazil's Amazon between 2010 and 2018. They found that the fires produced 1.5 billion tons of CO2 a year, while forest growth removed just 0.5 billion tons. The researchers said the difference one billion tons left the atmosphere is equivalent the annual emissions Japan, which is the world's fifth-largest polluter. Professor Simon Lewis, University College London, said: "The south-east Amazon sink-to-source story is yet another stark warning that climate impacts are accelerating."