Forest fires and droughts can destroy the Amazon forest

(Climate change) The future climate simulations in the Amazon region show that a prolonged dry season will lead to more droughts and forest fires. Woods Hole Research Center researchers include Michael Coe, Paulo Brando, Marcia Macedo and colleagues published a study of the impact of wildfires and drought on Amazon trees.

The research paper of the group of scientists was published in the journal PNAS, showing that prolonged dry weather conditions caused more and more widespread and intense natural fires, burning many forests at Amazon region than before.

Through an eight-year period of research, the team repeated burning 50 hectares of forest patches in southern Amazon to find out, the effects of frequent forest fires and the impact of weather conditions. How to kill forest trees.

Picture 1 of Forest fires and droughts can destroy the Amazon forest

Dr. Coe was surprised to say "the importance of drought": "The forest does not burn for many years, but it has spread to the drought years ." Climate change is said to be the cause of the rainy seasons are shorter and shorter and the seasons are longer, with more droughts similar to those observed in this study, according to Dr. Coe: 'We tend to point think about normal conditions but that is an abnormal condition that we have to worry about. '

NASA satellite data provided a regional context about the consequences of experimental fires. In 2007, fires in southern Amazon burned 10 times more forests than the number of fires in a normal climate year, 'an area equivalent to millions of football fields' , According to co-author Douglas Morton of NASA.

Most of the Amazon forest has experienced droughts and is more prone to burns."The development of agriculture has created smaller patches of forest, which make forest cover exposed to hotter and drier conditions in the surrounding lands and make them more susceptible to fire ," Dr. Macedo said. 'The fragmented forest fragments are more likely to be invaded by combustible grasses, thus increasing the capacity and intensity of future fires'.

According to lead researcher Dr Paulo Brando, 'This study shows that fires are destroying large areas of forest in Southern Amazon and emphasizing the role of interactions between events. Severe weather with wildfires, when trying to predict the future of the Amazon forests under the impact of climate change '.

'None of the models used to assess the vitality of the Amazon forest have wildfires, so most predictions underestimate the number of trees killed and overestimated. the overall vitality of the Amazon forest , 'said Dr. Coe. The results of this project show that severe drought conditions that can interact with Amazon forest fires that exceed a critical point can dramatically increase the death rate of forest trees and make carpets. Plants change in large areas.

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