Lewis et al. 2009: Increasing carbon storage in intact African tropical forests Phillips et al. 2009: Drought sensitivity of the Amazon Rainforest

Two articles full of numbers. More or less we got a feeling that these were more result establishments than articles of new foundings. Anyway – numbers differed a bit, but because some of the authors and references were same we assumed that we could just trust the correctness of them and enjoy the ride.

The meaning of the articles was to show us in numbers how important, big and good the tropical forests are as storages when it is a case of atmospheric carbon dioxide and how the amount of stored carbon is increasing. If the warming climate dries the tropical forests as it has been anticipated, it can have an enormous impact on climate change through carbon losses and changed surface energy balances.

In the Amazon Article the scientists study rainforest’s response to very intense drought during year 2005 and based on that they made suggestions about future scenes. It’s well known that Amazon is one of the most important factors in the global carbon cycle. In the article about Africa they report data from 79 permanent sample plots spanning 40 years. Their study testifies the known facts from Amazonia and carbon fluxes to apply as well in Africa.

At least for me it was good brain exercise to follow such amounts as Petagrams of carbon. Results indicate a carbon sink of 1,3 Pg C per year meaning all tropical forests during recent decades. As an comparison I checked Finland’s Co2 emissions per year: 2006 64,1 milj tons = 0,0641 Pg (and if I count the zeros wrong, please, correct me…).

The articles evoked discussion about how do we define a forest among other things.

Please do write your own feelings and ideas. I’m quite frozen.