Amazon rainforest soaking up less carbon as trees die young: study

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By Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) – The Amazon rainforest’s ability to soak up greenhouse gases from the air has fallen sharply, possibly because climate change and droughts mean more trees are dying, an international team of scientists said on Wednesday. The world’s biggest rainforest has soaked up vast amounts of carbon dioxide. The study, of 321 plots in parts of the Amazon untouched by human activities, estimated the net amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the forest had fallen by 30 percent, to 1.4 billion tonnes a year in the 2000s from 2.0 billion in the 1990s. “Forest growth has flatlined over the last decade,” lead author Roel Brienen of the University of Leeds told Reuters of the findings in the journal Nature.