Drought leaches carbon from Amazon

6 February 2014

A drought in 2010 caused the Amazon basin to release more carbon into the atmosphere than it took in, new research has revealed.

The study, published in Nature, says smoke from wildfires sparked by the dry conditions was the main reason for the losses.

But the lack of moisture also seems to have triggered a slowdown in photosynthesis, the process by which plants draw carbon in from the atmosphere.

As the climate of the Amazon warms and the forest experiences more severe flooding and droughts, these processes could become more permanently established.

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