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It’s no secret that our beloved Amazon rainforest is frequently referred to as the planet’s ‘lungs.’ As an essential carbon sink, it plays a monumental role in holding back the flood of carbon dioxide, hence safeguarding Earth’s habitability. But did you know that this guardian of the environment is under a cloud of uncertainty?
Recent studies suggest that due to deforestation and rampant wildfires, the Amazon might have turned from a climate savior to a significant contributor to atmospheric Pollution. However, accurately assessing the impact of escalating carbon dioxide levels on the Amazon has been a blind spot in our understanding. Enter AmazonFACE, a Brazilian experiment of epic proportions, which is set to change the game.
AmazonFACE is like a grand-scale lab experiment right in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Using towers that disperse carbon dioxide into specific areas of the rainforest, the experiment simulates real-time climate change effects. Half of these towers are experimental, releasing carbon dioxide, while the rest act as controls, standing by carbon dioxide-free. Think of it as a scene straight out of a sci-fi flick, but it’s very much a reality, even receiving funding Support from the British government.
The innovative experiment employs the Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) technology, a brainchild of the US government’s research initiatives in the 1970s and later enhanced by the Brookhaven National Laboratory for agricultural purposes. However, never before has such an experiment been carried out in the Amazon, making this an unprecedented initiative.
So, what’s the endgame? AmazonFACE aims to gauge how plants react to increased carbon dioxide levels and determine whether the Amazon is hurtling towards a tipping point – where it shifts from being a carbon sink to a major carbon polluter. This critical information could pave the way for potential climate change mitigation strategies.
David Lapola, a lead scientist on AmazonFACE, points out the unknowns, “We’re still not sure about the effect of increasing carbon dioxide levels on plant growth.” Earlier studies in 2020 have hinted at the Amazon’s resilience against Climate change, but AmazonFACE is all set to challenge this theory.
Every day offers an opportunity to learn something new about our planet and the complex mechanisms that keep it ticking. As we keenly follow the progress of AmazonFACE, let’s remember to do our bit in ensuring a sustainable future. It’s time to act now! Your small efforts can add up to make a big difference.
- Petition: Tell Brazil’s President to Enshrine the Amazon Rainforest’s Right to Exist into Law
- Colombian Farmers Turn Deforested Land into Sustainable Amazonian Farms
- Petition: Tell Amazon to Stop Using, Exploiting, and Killing Animals For Entertainment
- Unlocking the Amazon’s Secret to Revitalizing Rainforests
- Biden Pledges $500 Million to Combat Amazon Deforestation
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