According to a new study, climate change may have caused forest trees to die faster since the 1980s.
The results of a long-term international study published in Nature on May 18, 2022, show that tropical trees in Australia’s rain forests have been dying at twice the highest rate since the 1980s, possibly due to climate change. According to the study, as the drying up of the environment increases due to global warming, the rate of tropical tree death has doubled in the last 35 years.
The degradation of such forests reduces biomass and carbon storage, making it difficult to comply with the Paris Agreement to keep global temperatures well below 2 ° C. The current study, led by experts from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and Oxford University, and the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD), analyzed the most comprehensive data records from Australia’s rain forests.
It finds that tree mortality on these timber has more than doubled in the last forty years. The researchers found that the trees were about half the size in the region. According to researchers, the results could be seen from the 1980s.
Drs. David Bauman, a biologist in the Smithsonian, Oxford, and IRD tropical forests and lead author of the study, states, “It was shocking to see the dramatic increase in tree deaths, not to mention the biodiversity. And the sites we have studied. Double the risk of death could mean that the carbon dioxide stored in the trees returns twice as fast.”
Drs. Sean McMahon, Smithsonian Senior Research Scientist and lead author of the study, states, “Decades of data are needed to detect long-term changes in living things, and signal transformation can be overcome by sound. of many processes.”
Dr. Bauman and McMahon emphasize, “Another remarkable result of this study is that, not only did we see an increase in mortality, but this increase seemed to begin in the 1980’s, indicating that Earth’s ecosystems may have responded to climate change as a result of climate change. for decades.”
Professor Yadvinder Malhi of Oxford, co-author of the study, comments, ‘In recent years, the effects of climate change on coral reefs in the Great Barrier Reef have become increasingly common.
“Our work shows that if you look towards the coast from the Reef, the famous Australian forests are also changing rapidly. In addition, a potential complement to what we are seeing, the growing drying effect of global warming caused by global warming, suggests that similar increases in tree mortality rates may occur in tropical forests around the world. If so, tropical rain forests may be a source of carbon dioxide, and the challenge of lowering global temperatures below 2 ° C becomes more urgent and more difficult.”