Mar 17, 2010
Source: Opposing Views
A new study, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) refutes a claim in the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 report that up to 40 percent of the Amazon rainforest might disappear imminently. According to the IPCC's assessment, this disaster would be triggered by a relatively slight drop in rainfall of the sort to be expected in a warming world. It now appears that just such conditions have already occurred, and in fact, the Amazonian jungles were unaffected, says Gerald Warner, a columnist with the Telegraph.
That assertion has already been exposed as derived from a single report by the environmentalist lobby group WWF. According to Dr. Jose Marengo, a climate scientist with the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research and also a member of the IPCC:
* The way the WWF report calculated this 40 percent was totally wrong, while the new calculations are by far more reliable and correct.
* These calculations were done by researchers at Boston University and were published in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters.
* They used satellite data to study the drought of 2005, when rainfall fell to the lowest in living memory, and found that the rainforest suffered no significant effects.
According to NASA-funded scientists analyzing the past decades of satellite imagery of the Amazon basin:
* The rainforests are remarkably resilient to droughts.
* Even during the 100-year-peak dry season of 2005 the jungles were basically unaffected.
"We found no big differences in the greenness level of these forests between drought and nondrought years," says Arindam Samanta of Boston University, lead author of the new study.