ADVERTISEMENT

Does the Amazon rainforest really produce 20% of the world's oxygen?

No. In fact, under normal conditions (prior to human-caused fires) the Amazon forest is in a steady state. Oxygen is produced by photosynthesis and consumed by decay. If these were out of balance, then the mass of wood in the Amazon must change.

That means if the Amazon were to disappear today, instantly (e.g. we harvested all the wood and used it to build houses) then the oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would continue on at the same level. Until, that is, the wood rots. Then the carbon dioxide levels would increase.

Except for the biomass decrease from human-caused fires, the biomass of the Amazon has not been changing. That means that no net carbon-dioxide is being removed from the atmosphere, so no net oxygen is being released from carbon dioxide.

Recently the Amazon biomass has been changing due to fires. When that happens, the wood and other carbohydrates in the trees combine with oxygen and produce CO2 and H2O. Thus the burning of the rainforests contributes to global warming.

But under normal situations, when the biomass of the Amazon is not changing, there is no net production of oxygen or carbon dioxide.

Incidentally, many writers who don’t understand this, and mistakenly think that the Amazon produces net oxygen, double their error by using a backwards metaphor. They refer to the Amazon basin the “lungs of the world.” But lungs are the organ that removes oxygen from the air and replaces it with carbon dioxide, not the other way around.

Where did the 20% figure come from? I’m guessing that ecologists have calculated that 20% of the photosynthesis of the world takes place in the Amazon basin. But so does 20% of the consumption.


This information was taken from Quora. Click here to view the original post.

Did you also think that the Amazon rainforest is the main source of oxygen for our planet?

#Science #Nature #Quora

ADVERTISEMENT

What are your thoughts on this subject?
9 Comments
Jim Adams
The main source of oxygen for the earth comes from our oceans nearly every bit of plant live , even on the microscopic level produces oxygen.
6
Dec 25, 2019 5:21PM
Vijay Suri
Interesting info
0
Jan 8, 2020 8:20PM
Lee Miller
Good job. Love it! Talk about an "inconvenient truth". Bwahahahaha
0
Jan 2, 2020 8:27PM
John McLardie
Jacqueline Tattam, Richard Muller, Prof Physics, UC Berkeley wrote it. However what a physicist is doing commenting on what is, basically, a biological question is a mystery to me.
1
Dec 27, 2019 4:33AM
Todd Cates
Politician researchers?
0
Dec 26, 2019 4:36PM
William Spires
stellaclaude, likely those that also claim to be experts on Carbon emission caused Climate fluctuation and the proposal that inept, deceitful government agencies as the cure.
1
Dec 26, 2019 1:12AM
Jacqueline Tattam
Who wrote this? No citations, no data, no references - just another opinion piece posing as fact.
3
Dec 25, 2019 7:51PM
stellaclaude
I just don’t get it! Why then, do they keep saying that?
0
Dec 25, 2019 7:20PM
John Benger
So what is the main source of oxygen then
0
Dec 25, 2019 4:57PM

People also liked

Interesting Facts

How close are we to finding a cure for aging? 6/27/2020

Aging is not a disease or problem, so stop thinking of it as one, that's the wrong approach.

Read more

#Science #age #Quora

5 great scientists you've probably never heard about 6/26/2020

As it turns out, some brilliant minds, whose ideas, inventions and contribution to science changed the world, remained unknown to general public. Here are 5 little-known scientists that definitely deserve your attention.

Read more

#Science #History

5 cool facts about the Milky Way 6/29/2020

How much do we actually know about our galactic home? In this article, you will find some of the most impressive and little-known Milky Way facts.

Read more

#Science #Nature

7 stunning pictures and mind-blowing facts about jellyfish 7/3/2020

These mysterious creatures of the sea have a lot of secrets: as it turns out, they live in every ocean of Earth, can grow as big as whales and they're not even fish. Well, who are they then? Learn the truth with these spectacular jellyfish facts.

Read more

#animals #Nature

Weirdest man-made things ever sent into space 6/25/2020

Sometimes sending people into space just isn’t enough. It turns out that some really weird stuff has been sent into space. If you want to learn more about it, keep on reading this article!

Read more

#Science #funny