Friday, February 4th 2011, 4:07 PM EST
A rare drought in 2005 - billed as a once-in-a-hundred-years event - was then followed by another drought in 2010 that may have been even worse, according to a study by a team of British and Brazilians scientists in the journal Science. With a huge number of trees dying as a result of the droughts, the scientists predict that the Amazon will not be able to absorb as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as usual in future.
This would remove an important global buffer against pollution. Even worse, rotting trees may release into the atmosphere as much as five billion tons of C02 in the coming years. That would be almost as much as the 5.4 billion tons emitted from fossil fuel use by the US in 2009.
Based on the impact of the dry spell on tree deaths in 2005, the team projected that "Amazon forests will not absorb their usual 1.5 billion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere in both 2010 and 2011", the study said.
to read FULL report from Lulu Sinclair with Video Link