top of page

Global emissions from deforestation: 3 largest rainforests of the world remove 26% of that CO2

What is the recovery capacity of forests? It's a question that comes up, especially after the scary and huge forest fires in Canada and Europe.

An international consortium of scientists from the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE), the National Center for Monitoring and Alerting on Natural Disasters (CEMADEN) and the British Universities of Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter has been publishing about it.

A 2023 publication showed that the recovering regions in the three largest tropical forests in the world – the Amazon, Congo and Borneo – are removing at least 107 million tons. of carbon from the atmosphere per year. That is enough to offset 26% of gross carbon emissions caused by global deforestation and degradation caused by human action, such as fire and selective logging.

A study of this kind with the large-scale use of satellite data is pioneer, and also for monitoring not only the growth of forests but also understanding the age distribution of vegetation, in order to build growth curves as a function of climate variations, environmental conditions and disturbances caused by man. This makes it possible to quantify the carbon absorption capacity of secondary forests, as summarized in the image below.

Secondary forests grow in areas where native vegetation has been removed. An example is the Black Forest in Germany.

In March 2021, scientists had already published a study in Nature showing that maintaining the area of ​​secondary forest in the Amazon has the potential to accumulate 19 million tons of carbon per year by 2030, contributing 5.5% to the target reduction of net emissions in Brazil by then. Without fires and/or repeated deforestation, this carbon stock could be 8% higher.

Click on the image below to access a full article by FAPESP, including links to the two Nature publications:


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating


“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

bottom of page