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AMAZON BASIN MAY BECOME NET CARBON EMITTER

01/23/2012

Deforestation may cause the Amazon Basin to become a net emitter of carbon dioxide, according to a study published in the journal Nature. Though the region has traditionally defended against climate change, the basin's large population growth over the last 50 years has caused a massive spike in clearing for logging and agriculture. The study estimates that the Amazon contains 100 billion tons of carbon in its biomass, which is gradually released as the forest is cleared. The researchers conclude that while the forest may be resilient to individual disturbances, including climate change, multiple disturbances, such as logging and fires, will undermine that resilience."Brazil is poised to become one of the few countries to achieve the transition to a major economic power without destroying most of its forests," said the study. "However, continued improvements in scientific and technological capacity and human resources will be required in the Amazon region to guide and manage both biophysical and socioeconomic transitions." For the full story, see http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hCo4j-s2cFarxay 2LrzO3IX 30SQQ?docId=CNG.1c6dafea9831a4e285a8fd5725fe404e.451.