Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Signs of “apocalypse” due to global warming appear in forests that can make people suffocate.
In fact, forests are the lungs of the Earth, because trees that carry out photosynthesis absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the atmosphere.
Trees in the forest are usually exposed to sunlight and absorb water with their roots. However, because the sun is too hot, the temperature is too hot, so that it can stop the photosynthesis process.
Research by Gregory Goldsmith from Chapman University in California and his team, found several parts of tropical forests that are close to the temperature limit so that it disrupts the photosynthesis process.
“Studies show that leaves in tropical forests at certain places and times have broken through critical temperature limits,” said Goldsmith.
Trees in tropical forests, can carry out the process of photosynthesis at temperatures up to 46.7 degrees Celsius. But the researchers explained that the species’ abilities differed depending on the forest population, the number of leaves on the trees, and the canopy.
Therefore, a team from Northern Arizona University used data from NASA’s ECOSTRESS sensor to measure the temperature of the Earth’s surface, to find out which leaves in tropical forests are “hot” so they cannot photosynthesize.
The data collected from satellite monitoring for the 2018-2020 period was then validated with sensors on the surface placed on the treetops of five forests in Brazil, Puerto Rico, Panama and Australia.
The analysis found that temperatures in the forest canopy peaked at 34 degrees Celsius in the dry season, although some leaves reached 40 degrees Celsius. A small proportion of leaves, namely 0.01 percent of the sample, exceeded the crisis temperature (46.7 degrees Celsius) at least once during the dry season.
“Although still rare, temperature extremes can have disastrous effects on leaf physiology. Can be classified as an extraordinary impact event with a low probability,” wrote the research report.
According to reports ScienceAlerttrees close pores in their leaves, called stomata, to conserve water whenever the temperature gets too hot.
However, closing the stomata makes the leaves potentially damaged because they cannot “cool themselves” through the transpiration process. In dry periods, when the soil hardens, the effects of hot tribes can be more severe.
“Believe it or not, we don’t know much about why trees die,” says Goldsmith. There is very little scientific understanding of the effects of heat and drought, water and temperature, on plants.
Then, the research team used the data they had to run simulations to understand the response of tropical forests to rising temperatures and more frequent droughts.
Simulations show that 1.4 percent of the forest canopy shoots could stop photosynthesizing in the near future as a result of global warming.
If global warming exceeds 3.9 degrees Celsius, the entire forest could become unsustainable. Leaves would dry and trees all over the forest would die one after another.
However, researchers emphasize that these calculations are only probabilities. It could be, severe impacts occur at different temperatures. Therefore, it is very important to reduce emissions and prevent deforestation to protect tropical forests.
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