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NASA Study Proves How Tropical Forests Work Against Climate Change

Tropical Forest
(Photo : Flickr / jar () / CC)

A new scientific study conducted by researchers from NASA revealed how forests in tropic areas actually work toward limiting the effects of climate change, Science Daily reported.

According to the researchers, forests in different parts of the world have already absorbed around 2.5 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.

The researchers conducted the study by using computer models of the Earth's atmosphere and environmental processes. These were then compared with the data collected by satellites on forests in different areas of the globe.

As a result, the researchers were able to come up with a definitive explanation as to the crucial role of forests in the fight against climate change.

"Until our analysis, no one had successfully completed a global reconciliation of information about carbon dioxide effects from the atmospheric, forestry and modeling communities," the study's co-author Joshua Fisher said in statement.

"It is incredible that all these different types of independent data sources start to converge on an answer," he added.

According to researchers, carbon emissions from industrial facilities and vehicles in the city are absorbed by the trees in forests and act as fertilizers that assist in their growth. In turn, this process, which is called carbon fertilization, contributes in reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Previously, forests in the northern parts of the world such as those in Siberia and Canada, which are known as boreal forests, absorb higher levels of carbon emission as compared to tropical forests, according to an article from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

However, in recent years, tropical forests have overtaken their boreal counterparts in the capability to absorb emissions. Out of the global total of 2.5 billion, 1.4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases have been absorbed by tropical forests.

Britton Stephens, a co-author of the study and a member of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, explained that identifying which type of forests absorbs the most carbon emission is important in predicting the impact of climate change on the planet.

"It has big implications for our understanding of whether global terrestrial ecosystems might continue to offset our carbon dioxide emissions or might begin to exacerbate climate change," he said in a statement.

The findings of the researchers were detailed in a report published by the scientific journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

Tags NASA, Climate Change, Forests, Science

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