Climate change, allergy and asthma, and the role of tropical forests

Climate change, allergy and asthma, and the role of tropical forests

Author D'Amato, Gennaro Google Scholar
Vitale, Carolina Google Scholar
Rosario, Nelson Google Scholar
Chong Neto, Herberto Jose Google Scholar
Chong-Silva, Deborah Carla Google Scholar
Mendonca, Francisco Google Scholar
Perini, Jose Google Scholar
Landgraf, Loraine Google Scholar
Sole, Dirceu Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Sanchez-Borges, Mario Google Scholar
Ansotegui, Ignacio Google Scholar
D'Amato, Maria Google Scholar
Abstract Background: Tropical forests cover less than 10 per cent of all land area (1.8 x 107 km(2)) and over half of the tropical-forest area (1.1 x 107 Km(2)) is represented by humid tropical forests (also called tropical rainforests). The Amazon basin contains the largest rainforest on Earth, almost 5.8 million km(2), and occupies about 40% of South America

more than 60% of the basin is located in Brazil and the rest in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. Over the past decade the positive role of tropical rainforests in capturing large amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) has been demonstrated. In response to the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration, tropical forests act as a global carbon sink. Main body: Accumulation of carbon in the tropical terrestrial biosphere strongly contributes to slowing the rate of increase of CO2 into the atmosphere, thus resulting in the reduction of greenhouse gas effect. Tropical rainforests have been estimated to account for 32-36% of terrestrial Net Primary Productivity (NPP) that is the difference between total forest photosynthesis and plant respiration. Tropical rainforests have been acting as a strong carbon sink in this way for decades. However, over the past years, increased concentrations of greenhouse gases, and especially CO2, in the atmosphere have significantly affected the net carbon balance of tropical rainforests, and have warmed the planet substantially driving climate changes through more severe and prolonged heat waves, variability in temperature, increased air pollution, forest fires, droughts, and floods. The role of tropical forests in mitigating climate change is therefore critical. Over the past 30 years almost 600,000 km(2) have been deforested in Brazil alone due to the rapid development of Amazonia, this is the reason why currently the region is one of the 'hotspots' of global environmental change on the planet. Conclusion: Deforestation represents the second largest anthropogenic source of CO2 to the atmosphere, after fossil fuel combustion. There are many causes of deforestation, including socioeconomic and natural factors, such as clearcutting for agriculture, ranching and development, unsustainable logging for timber, as well as droughts, fires and degradation due to climate change. About natural causes of forest degradation, in the context of the Amazon, the major agent of change in the forest ecosystem would most likely be decreased dry-season precipitation. Of the 23 global climate models employed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in their 2007 report, 50-70% predict a substantial (above 20%) reduction of dry-season rainfall in eastern Amazonia under mid-range greenhouse gas emissions scenarios, 40% in central Amazonia and 20% in the west. While annual carbon emissions from fossil-fuel combustion have been continually increasing since 1960s, historical trends of deforestation and associated carbon emissions have remained poorly understood.
Keywords Respiratory allergy
Bronchial asthma
Climate change
Air pollution and respiratory diseases
Greenhouse gas emissions
Anthropogenic emissions of CO2
Interaction between climate change and allergy
Deforestation and climate change
xmlui.dri2xhtml.METS-1.0.item-coverage London
Language English
Date 2017
Published in World Allergy Organization Journal. London, v. 10, p. -, 2017.
ISSN 1939-4551 (Sherpa/Romeo, impact factor)
Publisher Biomed Central Ltd
Extent -
Access rights Open access Open Access
Type Article
Web of Science ID WOS:000396694200001

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