Published on November 18th, 2013 | by No Artificial
Typhoon Haiyan Released Large Amounts of Carbon
Researchers say Cyclone Haiyan likely to release huge amount of CO2 (carbon dioxide) into the atmosphere.
According to the journal Environmental Research Letters, presenting the atmospheric carbon impact caused by strong weather events, the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere due to Cyclone Haiyan is likely to be huge.
All hurricanes, tornadoes and cyclones can trigger the release of CO2 into the atmosphere by uprooting trees.
Trees and all plants sequester (absorb and store) carbon dioxide as part of the process of photosynthesis. Through this process, carbon dioxide is converted into stored carbon.
When the trees die the CO2 is released by decomposition back into the atmosphere.
In the paper, written by a team of researchers from several institutions working in the United States, the scientists note that Hurricane Katrina caused the release of approximately 100 tons of carbon into the atmosphere. That equals nearly half of all carbon sequestered by trees in the United States annually.
Typhoon Haiyan is most likely to be worse. Not only it was a bigger hurricane covering a wider area, but also it struck a part of the globe that has more dense tree cover.
Moreover, researchers believe that carbon released by the cyclone may never be recovered.
The Philippines is extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change and this country experiences more cyclones than any other region. Possibly the impacted areas will never again see the same amount of trees.
Journal reference: Environmental Research Letters, DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/8/4/045017