# Tags

Forests’ Carbon Uptake Decreased By Approximately 6 Per Cent

Trees soak up CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis, acting as a natural carbon sink


Recent research published in Nature in December 2023 suggests that forests’ ability to absorb carbon may be more susceptible to rising temperatures than previously understood. Despite a notable 6.75 per cent increase in India’s forest canopy cover from 2001 to 2019, the study reveals a concerning trend: forests’ carbon uptake decreased by approximately 6 per cent during the same period, potentially attributed to the impacts of global warming.

Trees play a crucial role in mitigating climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, effectively serving as natural carbon sinks. However, the study highlights how rising temperatures associated with global warming can disrupt this process. Increased carbon fertilisation and reduced photosynthesis rates in response to higher temperatures are key factors affecting carbon uptake. Regions experiencing the most significant warming, including the Western Ghats, Northeast India, and the East Coast Peninsula, exhibit the most substantial declines in carbon absorption.

These findings hold significant implications for India’s climate mitigation endeavours. The nation has committed to establishing a carbon sink capable of sequestering an additional 2.5–3 billion tonnes of carbon through forest and tree cover by 2030, as part of its overarching goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070. However, the study’s revelations raise doubts about the efficacy of forests as reliable tools for climate mitigation. To address these challenges, experts emphasise the importance of implementing robust greenhouse gas monitoring networks across India. While afforestation efforts remain crucial, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and other sources emerges as equally critical. Additionally, efforts to minimise deforestation and forest degradation are essential for preserving forests as effective carbon sinks.

The intricate dynamics between heat, moisture, and carbon dioxide within forest ecosystems underscore the need for comprehensive strategies to combat climate change. Addressing these complex interactions through multifaceted approaches will be essential in safeguarding forests’ role in mitigating carbon emissions and combating the impacts of global warming.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *