A new bad guy: the rainforest
Tropical rainforest is one of the most fascinating ecosystems in the world. They do not only provide a sustainable living environment for animals and plants but these forest are also responsible for 28% of the oxygen turnover. To make of oxygen they need a lot of carbon dioxide but every time a tree dies, it releases carbon dioxide as well. To make the circle complete they need water, a lot of water. The annual rainfall is around 250 to 450 centimetres in one year. So between the length of an elephant and a giraffe! But in this nice environment there is a huge game-changer: climate change…
This bastard (that we created our-selves) is currently disrupting the whole ecosystem in the tropical rainforests. Climate change makes each period longer and stronger. Especially the temperatures are rising across the globe. Last summer we saw the effects of a warmer earth on the forests in California. Forest fire ‘Thomas’ burned approximately 110.000 hectares of forest.
So how will this affect the rainforest? Most of the climate in the tropical rainforest gradually changes into monsoon climate, then into savanna climate and last into a desert. But the desert is coming close. Trees on the sides of the rainforest are particular vulnerable. Desiccated trees absorb less carbon dioxide and are more susceptible to fires. Not only are they susceptible to fires but also to other causes of deforestation, mostly caused by ourselves. There is going to be a point where a big rainforest like the amazon emits more carbon dioxide than it absorbs. Because, like mentioned before, when a tree dies it releases carbon dioxide.
Furthermore when it rains the trees will absorb the water and water will be released as vapor. This vapor will create clouds, clouds that carry more water than the Amazon River. The decrease of trees does not help that and could create flooding. So after ourselves and cows we have a new bad guy: the tropical rainforest.