11 Feb 2022.
According to latest research by scientists from Tezpur University in Tezpur, Assam and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, Kaziranga National Park in Assam is releasing more carbon than it is absorbing.
What does research show?
- Research was published in “Agricultural and Forest Meteorology” journal on February 9, 2022.
- As per research, as the planet Earth warms further, the ability of Kaziranga National Park to absorb carbon would decrease further.
- This ability would mainly decrease because of decreasing rainfall in this region.
- Furthermore, Kaziranga National Park releases more carbon than it absorbs because of its unique soil of deciduous forest. The soil is home to huge population of bacteria, that releases carbon dioxide while breathing. This adds to the carbon dioxide being emanated by other organisms and trees.
- Researchers found that, Kaziranga absorbed most amount of carbon dioxide during pre-monsoon season of March, April and May.
- Photosynthetic activity of trees decreases during the monsoon because of increased cloud cover. Thus, the ability of forest to absorb carbon dioxide also decreases.
Meteorological Tower in the Park
Under the MetFlux India project, researchers had installed a meteorological tower inside Kaziranga national park in 2015 for conducting the study. The tower was equipped with various sensors and instruments for monitoring carbon dioxide levels, wind speeds & direction and water vapour concentrations. The MetFlux India project is sponsored by Union Ministry of Earth Sciences.
- A forest, or trees in a forest uses carbon dioxide for photosynthesis and release it while breathing. If the amount of carbon dioxide taken up by a forest is more as compared to carbon dioxide released by it through respiration, it acts as a carbon sink.
- Usually, forests absorb more carbon dioxide than they release. Thus, forests are globally promoted in a bid to counter the carbon dioxide emissions from different human activities.
How forest absorbs carbon?
Forest mainly absorbs carbon through the process of photosynthesis, that trees use for producing food for themselves and other organisms in the forest.