In a paper published online Feb 6 2013 by the journal Nature, a team of climate scientists from the University of Exeter, the Met Office-Hadley Centre and the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, has shown that, contrary to previous reports based on climate models, the Amazon rainforest is not in danger of dying due to human caused global warming:
Lead author Professor Peter Cox of the University of Exeter explained: "We have been struggling for more than a decade to answer the question 'will the Amazon forest die back under climate change?' Our study indicates that the risk is low if climate change is associated with increased plant growth under elevated carbon dioxide.
By combining this relationship with the year-to-year variation in carbon dioxide as seen in the real world, the team were able to determine that about 50 billion tonnes of carbon would be released for each degree Celsius of warming in the tropics. Peter Cox said the findings were initially a relief: "Fortunately, this carbon release is counteracted by the positive effects of carbon dioxide fertilisation on plant growth under most scenarios of the 21st century, so that overall forests are expected to continue to accumulate carbon."
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