Human impact on the Amazon rainforest worse than expected

Around 54 million tonnes of carbon is lost from the Amazon every year due to selective logging and wildfires, making up 40% of the global yearly carbon loss from deforestation.

The findings come from Lancaster University, which conducted landmark research calculating the carbon loss from logging and fires in the tropics. It examined samples of trees, soil, litter and dead wood from 225 sites in the eastern Brazilian Amazon.

The findings highlight the impact that the forest degradation due to logging has on emissions. Logging has altered the forest canopy making it less able to store carbon and more prone to wildfire.

This post was amended on June 3, 2014, to correct the figure to 54 million tonnes of carbon, not 54 billion as erroneously reported in the media release. The original research is available here.

Read more at Lancaster University