LOSS OF AMAZON FORESTS AFFECTS THE GULF STREAM AND IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PROBLEM OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN EUROPE
By: Volodymyr Izerskyy (*) / Efraín Bonzano Sosa (**)
PLANETLUNGS ORG (Germany), and the Peruvian organizations: ASSOCIATION FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES PERU – “ACRENAP”, the INSTITUTE OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH OF TROPICAL PLANTS “IICPT”, and the consortium of the BIOSPHERE RESERBA AVIRERI VRAEM “RBAV”, join forces to carry out actions to mitigate the impacts of global warming and climate change in Germany and Europe.
Climate is the description in terms of average values and variability of the temperature, humidity, precipitation, wind, etc., of a locality or region, over a relatively long period of time, such as 30 years, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Likewise, climate is the result of a complex interaction between the five components of the climate system: the atmosphere, the biosphere, the hydrosphere, the cryosphere and the earth’s surface; which maintain their own dynamics that generate variations in different time scales, events such as El Niño/La Niña, which have durations of some years or events such as glacial eras that occur in periods of thousands and millions of years only eventually interrupted by natural causes, such as volcanic eruptions and variations in solar emissions, or by human activity.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) identifies two main causes of climate change on the planet; those caused by aerospace causes (increased solar activity, increased intensity of space and specifically electromagnetic radiation, change in the inclination of the planetary axis, etc.) and is directly or indirectly related to human activities, and is that in recent decades the scientific community has found evidence of a link between climate change and increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, mainly in industrialized societies as a result of the use of fossil fuels.
A climate scenario is a representation of climatic conditions in the coming decades or centuries, under consideration of a specific set of assumptions around human activities that influence climate; such as: energy demand, greenhouse gas emissions, land use changes, among others. The uncertainty surrounding these assumptions determines the range of possible scenarios.
The scientific studies referring to the severe alterations of the climatic conditions that are currently being endured by all the countries of Europe due to climate change, is related to the Gulf Stream, has the main influence on the formation of climatic conditions in Europe, since the Size (width and length), as well as the strength of the Gulf Stream depends on the balance of salt and fresh water it carries, which makes theGulf Stream function as a giant conveyor belt that carries warm surface water from the Equator to the North and sends cold, low-salt water deep to the south. Thatmeuve almost 20 million cubic meters of water per second.
After examining the indirect data, the scientists concluded that over the past hundred years there has been an unprecedented slowdown in the Atlantic Southern Circulation (AMOC), a system of ocean currents in the Atlantic that has a significant impact on the global climate. The authors (Nature Geoscience, 2021*)) emphasize that one of the main elements of AMOC, the Gulf Stream that carries warm waters from the tropics to the coasts of Europe, is now weaker than ever in the last 1000 years.
Therefore, the increase in freshwater discharge and the increase in its temperature have an impact on the Gulf Stream, (Nature Geoscience, 2021*)
* Caesar, G. D. McCarthy, D. J. R. Thornalley, N. Cahill & S. Rahmstorf . 2021. Current Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation weakest in last millennium. . Nature Geoscience. N° 14. 118-120 p. 25.02.2021.
One of the main causes of this phenomenon is the loss and destruction of a large number of natural forests in the Amazon dueto logging, for the habilitation of cultivation areas, extensive livestock and indiscriminate logging, especially in the headwaters of the basins, which were responsible for the retention of water, and since these forested areas that regulated the water regime of the main tributaries of the Amazon River do not currently exist, it has caused a considerable increase in the amount of free water that reaches the Atlantic. This changed the estacional formation of precipitation. The loss of vegetation cover of immense areas of the Amazon brought parallel to the increase in water temperature, therefore, the entire system of the Gulf Stream, is affectedin thef uerza of the Gulf Stream.
According to the hydrographic network of the Amazon River Basin that covers an area of more than 7 413 827 km2, and transports the largest amount of water in the world (20% of the total inland fresh waters), covering 8 countries, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname.
In relation to Peru, most of the territory of the headwaters ofthe Amazon River basins (Tambo-Urubamba-Ucayali River) is in the scope of theBiosferto Avireri Vraem branch recently createdin September 2021 by UNESCO, being the largest in Peru, with more than 4 million hectares, which has the greatest biodiversity in the world, in this territory there has been an increase in temperature ofl 3 ° C on average with respect to previous years and registered an increase of 60 to 70 mm in monthly and total precipitation, as a result of the number of felled forests that absorbed rainwater
The average amount of associated water in the live wood of trees destroyed by deforestation.
(determined based onthe processing of the data measured in the field studies carried out in the territory of 10 micro-basins of the Perene River. Distr. Rio Negro. Prov. Satipo. 2021).
*Our investigations have determined that:
- With the felling of an average of 900 trees over 20 cm in diameter in an area of 1 hectare (10,000 square meters), we destroyed the possibility of absorption of 4,205 tons of total water from this area.
- 10% of this total amount of water is absorbed by the tree during the 24-hour period from the Soil and, in the form of water vapor, returns to the atmosphere during metabolic respiration. It is 420 tons of water daily. – 152,040 tons per year of water absorption of each hectare.
- Therefore, studies confirm that continuous deforestation in the Amazon causes a strong overflow of the channels of all rivers, which form the Amazon River basin with an average of 420 tons of free water per hectare. On the other hand, the lack of evenly distributed water vapor during the breathing of trees at night, causes a decrease in air temperature throughout the region by a minimum of 3 – 4 degrees from the minimum of the norm for these climatic zones.
- The lack of forest cover during the day causes a very rapid warming of the earth’s surface and the entire air mass on it and, as a result, strong movements of air masses at more than 20 meters per second, which generates hurricanes and tornadoes, which did not occur before and that are currently being massively registered in the last 3 years throughout the Amazon.
- The loss of more than 60% of all Amazon forests has led to the fact that today more than 1 billion dust particles (PM10 – PM2.5 in diameter) are no longer absorbed into the leaves of trees and are present in the open air, which causes an increase in allergic reactions and the number of respiratory diseases in all living organisms living in this vast territory.
- Based on extrapolation from experimental data, it is very likely that the felling of 60% of the forests has led to an additional off-season and unregulated discharge of dirty fresh water from the Amazon River basin to the Atlantic (at the crossing of the cold and warm sleeves of the Gulf Stream) of at least 107 billion liters of water per year from an area of 700 myllones of hectares of Amazon.
IN CONCLUSION, deforestation has increased the amount of free water entering the Amazon River, The increase in air temperature has allowed an increase in the temperature of the agua. These two factors have determining effects on the Gulf Stream, as it changes its properties and affects temperature and climate in Europe, summers become warmer and drier and winters colder with more snow in central and northern Europe.
As background and projections for Peru, the climate scenarios for the year 2030 are presented following the methodology of dynamic regionalization of precipitation, maximum and minimum annual temperature. This process incorporates regional information into the climate signal of the global model, to represent the spatial and temporal variability of the climate. The 2030 Annual projection includes: Annual Precipitation 2030, Annual Minimum Temperature 2030 and Annual Maximum Temperature 2030; which have been planned on a national scale. According to estimates, for the annual projection to 2030, the maximum air temperatures will be warmer by up to 1.6 ° C compared to the current climate in almost the entire territory. With values in the coastal region between 20 to 32 °C, and up to 34 °C at the northern end of the coast, in the sierra region it will fluctuate between 12 to 28 °C and in the jungle region it will vary with values between 20 to 34 °C. The spatial configuration between the periods 2020 and 2030 are presented with a greater breadth for the latter period. (MINAM, SENAMHI, 2021)
Rising maximum temperatures are expected to occur in the high mountains of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and northern Chile (Bradley et al., 2006). This change in temperatures in the mountain regions of the intertropical zone, due to their population density, the practice of agriculture in the area and the existing deglaciation, deserves a particular interest of its potential climate change.