Amazon Environment Teaser #2 – Answer

Question: The Amazon forest biomass is a source for how many tons of carbon?

Answer Choices: A) 5 billion B) 10 billion C) 50 billion D) 100 billion;

Correct Answer: D) 100 billion tons

Summary: The 3,130,386 square miles of total rain forest in the Amazon make up a staggering 54% of the planet’s remaining tropical rain forests. Deforestation accounts for a considerable portion of annual carbon loss from the Amazon. The whole Amazon rain forest biomass contains 100 billion tons of carbon which is the same amount of global fossil-fuel emissions from over a 10 year period. To put this number in perspective, 100 billion tons of rain forest biomass is equivalent to the weight of 500 million Boeing 747 airplanes. Comparatively, all of the tropical rain forests of the world contain 229 billion tons of carbon in their vegetation combined. Today, there has been considerable conversation about increasing carbon emissions worldwide. The Woods Hole Research Center has determined that deforestation in all of the world’s tropical rain forests emitted 1.14 billion tons of carbon per year into the atmosphere and the net carbon loss from deforestation in the Amazon was about 350 million tons per year. This makes Amazonian deforestation account for 30.7% of all global carbon emissions due to tropical deforestation. The potential effects from an increase in Amazonian deforestation on carbon emissions could be extremely significant on a global scale. In the 1980’s the Amazon rain forest was considered a carbon sink, where carbon was accumulated and stored. However, there has been a shift in the Amazon that now classifies it as a carbon source where it is emitting more carbon than it is absorbing. Maintaining the integrity of the Amazon rain forest will need a better understanding of the vulnerability and resilience of the transitioning forest ecosystem.

Source: Eric Davidson et al., “The Amazon basin in transition,” Nature, 19 January 2012.;
A. Baccini et al. “Estimated carbon dioxide emissions from tropical deforestation improved by carbon-density maps.” Nature Climate Change, 29 January 2012;


2 responses to “Amazon Environment Teaser #2 – Answer

  1. Pingback: Amazon Environment Teaser #2 – The Amazon rain forest is a source for how many tons of carbon? | Center for Amazon Community Ecology

  2. great posts…keep them coming please!

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