Climate Change and the Amazon
Trees act as carbon sinks, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and transforming it into food. Camila Domonoske, Deforestation of the Amazon Up 29 Percent From Last Year, Study Finds, www.npr.org, (Dec. 2, 2016). When a tree is cut down not only does it release carbon as it decays; it also no longer provides the invaluable service of reducing carbon dioxide and curbing climate change. Id.
In 2016 deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest increased 29 percent since last year. Id. This is the highest rate of deforestation of the Amazon since 2008. Id. This number came as a surprise to environmentalists working in the rainforest, as well as the government officials in Brazil. Id.
Brazil was once seen as a model for developing countries because of their success in reducing deforestation from 2004 to 2014. Id. Now, due to a lack of funding to stop illegal logging, rates have risen dramatically. Id. Unfortunately, the increased rate of deforestation is impacting Brazil’s ability to successfully meet its targeted reduction of carbon based on the Paris Agreement on climate change. Id.