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Guardian’s Latest Amazon Scare Story

July 21, 2021

By Paul Homewood

 

The latest Amazon scare from the Guardian:

 

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The Amazon rainforest is now emitting more carbon dioxide than it is able to absorb, scientists have confirmed for the first time.

The emissions amount to a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, according to a study. The giant forest had previously been a carbon sink, absorbing the emissions driving the climate crisis, but is now causing its acceleration, researchers said.

Most of the emissions are caused by fires, many deliberately set to clear land for beef and soy production. But even without fires, hotter temperatures and droughts mean the south-eastern Amazon has become a source of CO2, rather than a sink.

Growing trees and plants have taken up about a quarter of all fossil fuel emissions since 1960, with the Amazon playing a major role as the largest tropical forest. Losing the Amazon’s power to capture CO2 is a stark warning that slashing emissions from fossil fuels is more urgent than ever, scientists said.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/14/amazon-rainforest-now-emitting-more-co2-than-it-absorbs?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other&fbclid=IwAR3ORDoxT1_zJygDMxYKjKl9ujI6hgL1xJXt6sKv0m1aF_13L5UVEnyJl1c

It is not rocket science that burning trees will add CO2 to the atmosphere.

But in the wider scale of things, extra carbon dioxide is helping to green the planet:

desertsgreen

Satellite data shows the per cent amount that foliage cover has changed around the world from 1982 to 2010.

https://phys.org/news/2013-07-greening-co2.html

And the Amazon is no exception:

 

 

 

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In short, the Amazon rainforest will continue to absorb huge quantities of carbon dioxide via photosynthesis. And, of course, the areas cleared to grow crops will also take up carbon dioxide.

The idea that the Amazon rainforest is a carbon sink is in any case a myth. Trees may absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, but carbon is retuned to the soil when they die, from which it returns to the atmosphere and oceans as part of the great carbon cycle. Without this cycle, atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide would drastically fall and the world would be plunged into an ice age.

Curiously,while the Guardian is concerned about Brazilian farmers clearing land for farming, they don’t appear to be bothered about the forests being chopped down in Europe and North America for burning in Drax and other biomass plants – all conveniently certified as “zero carbon” by the EU.

Or for that matter the scandal of rainforests being burned down in South East Asia, to expand biofuel crops for the EU:

 

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BRUSSELS, July 5 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – European Union targets to boost biofuel use are likely to have led to the deforestation of an area roughly the size of the Netherlands over the last decade to expand soy, palm and other oil crops, a report said on Monday.

About 4 million hectares (9 million acres) of forests mainly in Southeast Asia and South America have been cleared since 2011 – including about 10% of remaining orangutan habitat, according to estimates by campaign group Transport and Environment (T&E).

https://www.agriculture.com/markets/newswire/eu-biofuels-goals-seen-behind-deforested-area-as-big-as-the-netherlands?mc_cid=bd9da5d439&mc_eid=4961da7cb1

 

It is a commonly held myth that deforestation in Brazil is all Jair Bolsonaro’s fault. In fact it has been ongoing since the 1960s, but the rate of deforestation has declined markedly since the early 2000s:

 

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deforestation_of_the_Amazon_rainforest

 

 

In short, the Amazon is not under any threat at all.

17 Comments
  1. July 21, 2021 2:22 pm

    Forest preservation for the climate is something the primitive uneducated people just don’t understand.

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2021/01/09/a-european-emphasis-on-forest-preservation-in-the-amazon/

  2. T Walker permalink
    July 21, 2021 3:21 pm

    As usual Paul you point out what should be a straightforward exercise in logic, to arrive at a sensible point of view.

    The Guardian piece is the usual “we can make it up, so we will” article.

    The only thing I didn’t follow was why reduced levels of CO2 would lead to an ice age? The ice core data suggests that following a drop in temperature the levels of CO2 fall over hundreds of years as it is sequestered in ice and the oceans. It is why we sceptics are pretty sure that AGW is a myth. Surely if lack of CO2 would plunge us into an ice age. It would be reasonable to think more of it would burn us up??

    Or have I miss understood your point?

    • Broadlands permalink
      July 21, 2021 7:34 pm

      This from the Guardian…very recently:

      Perhaps you’re familiar with the Guardian’s reputation for hard-hitting, urgent reporting on the environment. We view the climate crisis as the defining issue of our time. It is already here, making growing parts of our planet uninhabitable. As parts of the world emerge from the pandemic, carbon emissions are again on the rise, risking a rare opportunity to transition to a more sustainable future. The Guardian has renounced fossil fuel advertising, becoming the first major global news organisation to do so. We have committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2030. And we are consistently increasing our investment in environmental reporting, recognising that an informed public is crucial to keeping the worst of the crisis at bay.”

      We are familiar with your reputation for ignoring those things that don’t fit your “green” ideology.

  3. July 21, 2021 3:24 pm

    Em I buy the idea that the Amazon is a net sink.
    Some trees grow and then decay into marsh
    then CO2 is trapped as peat etc.

  4. Ian Wilson permalink
    July 21, 2021 3:57 pm

    Those promoting climate hysteria also seem strangely unconcerned about the 13.9 million trees felled in Scotland alone to make way for wind farms – and they call these things ‘green’.

    • Sheri permalink
      July 21, 2021 4:13 pm

      “Green” just means it fits the world socialism plan. It really has nothing to do with saving the planet and likely will destroy a great deal thereof. Environmentalist socialists will be the death of many species and areas before this is over. If humans can cause climate change, it will be those who want to “save the planet” that destroy it.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      July 21, 2021 8:38 pm

      You should write a letter saying that 14M trees were list to the ARF. And see the reaction.

    • Tonyb permalink
      July 21, 2021 10:29 pm

      Ian

      Have you got a link to that extraordinary number of felled trees? . Presumably it will be claimed an equivalent number of saplings were planted to replace the mature trees?

  5. dennisambler permalink
    July 21, 2021 5:43 pm

    The Amazon is not a net sink:

    “Chemical reactions involving tree V.O.C.s produce methane and ozone, two powerful greenhouse gases, and form particles that can affect the condensation of clouds.

    Research by my group at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and by other laboratories, suggests that changes in tree V.O.C.s affect the climate on a scale similar to changes in the earth’s surface color and carbon storage capacity.

    While trees provide carbon storage, forestry is not a permanent solution because trees and soil also “breathe” — that is, burn oxygen and release carbon dioxide back into the air. Eventually, all of the carbon finds its way back into the atmosphere when trees die or burn.

    Moreover, it is a myth that photosynthesis controls the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere.

    Even if all photosynthesis on the planet were shut down, the atmosphere’s oxygen content would change by less than 1 percent.

    The Amazon rain forest is often perceived as the lungs of the planet.

    In fact, almost all the oxygen the Amazon produces during the day remains there and is reabsorbed by the forest at night. In other words, the Amazon rain forest is a closed system that uses all its own oxygen and carbon dioxide.”

    Amazon River CO2 outgassing equals Rainforest sequestration:
    Evaluation of Primary Production in the Lower Amazon River Based on a Dissolved Oxygen Stable Isotopic Mass Balance

    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2017.00026/full

    The Amazon River outgasses nearly an equivalent amount of CO2 as the rainforest sequesters on an annual basis due to microbial decomposition of terrigenous and aquatic organic matter.

    The Amazon River is a major source of CO2 to the atmosphere, but understanding the interplay between photosynthesis and respiration is critical for understanding the fundamental mechanisms driving these fluxes and the overall productivity of the ecosystem.”

    In the past it had a lot less trees:

    Professor Philip Stott, Emeritus Professor of BioGeography at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, wrote this in 2003:

    “At the end of the last ice age, only some 12-18000 years ago, the tropics were covered by seasonal savannah grasslands, cooler and much drier than now. There were no rain forests in the Malay Peninsula and much of Amazonia, and, despite the increasing human development of forested space, there are still more rain forests persisting than existed then. As in Europe and North America, the forests came and went as climate changed; there is no Clementsian “long period of control” under one climate. Beneath many rain forests, there are sheets of ash, a testimony in the soil to past fires and non-forested landscapes.”

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      July 21, 2021 5:56 pm

      Ah but what is important and what we must have is the world that Greens think existed when they were children. The world didn’t exist before they were born so everything must be judged by their experiences.

  6. Phoenix44 permalink
    July 21, 2021 6:00 pm

    It’s truly amazing how every day we discover that “cutting emissions” must happen more quickly. Even more wondrous is the fact that we never discover that we’ve overestimated any effect whatsoever.

    Those scientists a few years ago really were very poor.

    • Broadlands permalink
      July 21, 2021 7:30 pm

      Exactly. They seem to believe that cutting emissions takes CO2 we have already added out of the atmosphere. That can only be done by Nature or by industrial carbon capture and long-term permanent burial. And that process cannot even remove one part per million… in their own estimates even after 30 years of building new facilities around the world.

  7. Broadlands permalink
    July 21, 2021 7:05 pm

    Now, this is why it’s so hard to get facts into the public domain…

    The Guardian just recently:

    “Perhaps you’re familiar with the Guardian’s reputation for hard-hitting, urgent reporting on the environment. We view the climate crisis as the defining issue of our time. It is already here, making growing parts of our planet uninhabitable. As parts of the world emerge from the pandemic, carbon emissions are again on the rise, risking a rare opportunity to transition to a more sustainable future. The Guardian has renounced fossil fuel advertising, becoming the first major global news organisation to do so. We have committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2030. And we are consistently increasing our investment in environmental reporting, recognising that an informed public is crucial to keeping the worst of the crisis at bay.”

    Yes, we are indeed familiar. It’s your ignorance and ideology that stand out.

  8. Broadlands permalink
    July 21, 2021 7:38 pm

    I have now received this message twice…

    July 21, 2021 7:34 pm Please Note: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    What did I write that was wrong?

  9. Gamecock permalink
    July 21, 2021 8:49 pm

    ‘The Amazon rainforest is now emitting more carbon dioxide than it is able to absorb, scientists have confirmed for the first time.’

    Perhaps they can point it out of the Mauna Loa graph (I can’t see it):

    • Broadlands permalink
      July 22, 2021 1:34 am

      Gamecock.. if you will download the raw data to a spreadsheet and subtract the last from the one before… all the way back to 1960 (i.e. the rate of increase), you will see a totally different chart. It seems to correlate better with the record 1997-98 El-Nino and La-Nina than with anything else.

      And if you take the annual data and plot it against global population the correlation is almost perfect. And you will not see any blips in the charts either. The reason is that our input is too small to be seen above the background inputs and losses that are controlled by the carbon cycle.

      If I knew how to post or attach the charts here, I would.

  10. July 21, 2021 9:16 pm

    Correct! CO2 is cumulative! If Greenies really believed that the the world will be in an unrecoverable situation in 12 years CO2 emissions are not relevant and they should be pursuing geo-engineering as the only solution. As we suspect they don’t believe the hype they spout but are proving useful idiots to the green investment shift enriching the few but staring to cause harm to many.

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