Scientists reveal forests threatened by climate
RESEARCH by Exeter scientists has revealed how vulnerable rainforests are to climate change.
Tropical rainforests draw in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. But the amount of carbon dioxide they absorb or produce varies hugely with year-to-year variations in the climate.
Climate scientists from the University of Exeter, the Met Office and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, have shown these variations reveal the dangers facing rainforests. Professor Peter Cox said: "Our study indicates that the risk is low if climate change is associated with increased plant growth under elevated carbon dioxide.
"But if this effect declines, or climate warming occurs due to something other than a carbon dioxide increase, we expect to see a significant release of carbon from tropical ecosystems."
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