A recent study involving more than half a million trees found that when temperatures increase past 89.6 degrees Fahrenheit, tropical forests end up releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Trees normally absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, which helps delay catastrophic climate change. “Tropical forests store vast amounts of carbon in their trees,” says lead author Martin Sullivan, but a global increase in temperature could mean that their carbon storing ability is turned on its head. If all this carbon was released at once, it would be the equivalent of 25 years of global fossil fuel emissions.
Already, a quarter of tropical forests are facing heat above the 89.6 degree threshold, and even a three-degree Fahrenheit increase would push the majority of trees over the edge, triggering an excess release of carbon into the air.
We need to make sure that tropical forests retain their carbon storing abilities, and this means no further increase in global temperatures. No more burning of fossil fuels, and no more cutting down of trees in the Amazon or any other tropical forest. Deforestation only benefits the capitalists exploiting these forests, and fossil fuels are only good for the oil and gas companies. We cannot lose any more of these forests. Our lives depend on it.
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