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Assessment of the Risk of Amazon Dieback

Edited By: Walter Vergara and Sebastian Martin Scholz

World Bank

Paperback | Feb 2011 | #189172 | ISBN-13: 9780821386217
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About this book

The Amazon basin is a key component of the global carbon cycle. Not only is the old-growth rainforests in the basin huge carbon storage with about 120 billion metric tons of carbon in their biomass, but they also process annually twice the rate of global anthropogenic fossil fuel emissions through respiration and photosynthesis. In addition, the basin is the largest global repository of biodiversity and produces about 20 percent of the world's flow of fresh water into the oceans.

Despite the large CO2 efflux from recent deforestation, the Amazon rainforest is still considered to be a net carbon sink or reservoir because vegetation growth on average exceeds mortality. However, current climate trends and human-induced deforestation may be transforming forest structure and behavior.

Amazon forest dieback would be a massive event, affecting all life-forms that rely on this diverse ecosystem, including humans, and producing ramifications for the entire planet. Clearly, with changes at a global scale at stake, there is a need to better understand the risk, and dynamics of Amazon dieback. Therefore, the purpose of the book is to assist in understanding the risk, process and dynamics of potential Amazon dieback and its implications.


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