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As the Amazon fires spread, so did these unfounded statistics




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Topline : As the news spread of the fires in the Amazon rainforest and sparked international outrage and condemnation, so did an unnamed statistic: The Amazon produces 20% of the world's oxygen Emmanuel Macron Twitterte Actor Leonardo Dicaprio posted it on Instagram. CNN included it in his coverage.

The only problem: No one knows where the number comes from and what it says does not seem true

  • Mathematically, it is impossible for the Amazon to produce so much oxygen, said Jonathan Foley, former manager of the Californian Academy of Sciences and founder of Project Drawdown. a research group on climate change.
  • Foley thinks The number could be due to the fact that all tropical forests (including those in Africa and Indonesia) produce 20% of the oxygen from land-based sources.
  • The combination of land and ocean that also produce oxygen makes only tropical forests 10% of the world's oxygen. Foley estimates that the Amazon itself can only produce 6%.

Still, the Amazon is important to the environment, even without oxygen, Foley said. It stores carbon that, once released into the atmosphere through combustion, produces hazardous carbon dioxide emissions that heat the atmosphere and contribute to climate change. In fact, the Amazon stores 25% of global carbon, according to a 2015 paper published in Nature .

"The more carbon that can be extracted from the atmosphere and made into more stable forms, the better it is, and forest vegetation is one of those good ways to store carbon," said Robin Chazdon, a professor at the University of Connecticut.

The Amazon is also a hotspot for biodiversity or the thousands of species – including insects, wildlife and plants – that live in the rainforest. As the Amazon continues to burn, these species are at risk, Chazdon added.

After all, Amazonian oxygen is not that important, scientists say. There is a lot of oxygen in the atmosphere that has built up over thousands of years. Even if the Amazon were completely destroyed, the supply of oxygen in the atmosphere would not be compromised, Foley said. The oxygen content is regulated primarily by long-term geological forces such as plate tectonics and not by oxygen from photosynthesis.

"The Amazon is so precious and deforestation is a big problem for climate change, biodiversity and aboriginal people there," said Foley. "But we can delete one thing from the doomsday list here, we do not have to worry about the oxygen levels in the world."

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Topline As the news of the fires in the Amazon rainforest spread, this triggered international outrage and condemnation. Also, an unresolved statistic: The Amazon produces 20% of the world's oxygen tweeted by French President Emmanuel Macron ] and was posted by actor Leonardo Dicaprio on Instagram CNN included him in his coverage.

The only problem: No one knows where the number came from, and it does not seem to be true. [19659018] Mathematically, it is impossible for the Amazon to produce so much oxygen, said Jonathan Foley, the former executive director of the California Academy of Sciences and Reasons from Project Drawdown, a research group on climate change.

  • According to Foley, the figure could be due to the fact that all tropical forests (including those in Africa and Indonesia) produce 20% of the oxygen from land-based sources.
  • Combination of land and ocean, which also produce oxygen. tropical forests account for only 10% of global oxygen. Foley estimates that the Amazon itself can only produce 6%.
  • Still, the Amazon is important to the environment, even without worrying about oxygen, Foley said. It stores carbon that, once released into the atmosphere through combustion, produces hazardous carbon dioxide emissions that heat the atmosphere and contribute to climate change. In fact, the Amazon stores 25% of global carbon, according to a 2015 paper published in Nature .

    "The more carbon that can be extracted from the atmosphere and made into more stable forms, the better it is, and forest vegetation is one of those good ways to store carbon," said Robin Chazdon, a professor at the University of Connecticut.

    The Amazon is also a hotspot for biodiversity or the thousands of species – including insects, wildlife and plants – that live in the rainforest. As the Amazon continues to burn, these species are at risk, Chazdon added.

    After all, Amazonian oxygen is not that important, scientists say. There is a lot of oxygen in the atmosphere that has built up over thousands of years. Even if the Amazon were completely destroyed, the supply of oxygen in the atmosphere would not be compromised, Foley said. The oxygen content is regulated primarily by long-term geological forces such as plate tectonics and not by oxygen from photosynthesis.

    "The Amazon is so precious and deforestation is a big problem for climate change, biodiversity and aboriginal people there," said Foley. "But we can delete one thing from the doomsday list here, we do not have to worry about the oxygen levels in the world."


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