Spike in global carbon emissions linked to El Nino

Spike in global carbon emissions linked to El Nino

It appeared that the active phase of the El niƱo led to temperature increase in Equatorial areas. The important thing is that the carbon emissions occurring due to human activities during 2105-16 nearly remained same as previous year, but still carbon dioxide concentration increased during those years. For example, in tropical Indonesia a forest was burned down, which caused carbon to be released and ultimately left less plants to pull the carbon back down. Scientists have long known that carbon dioxide levels spike during an El Nino, the natural occasional warming of parts of the central Pacific that causes droughts in some places floods in others and generally adds to warmer temperatures worldwide.

A new NASA satellite has found another thing to blame on El Nino: A recent record high increase of carbon dioxide in the air.

In the study, researchers analyzed data collected by the Orbiting carbon Observatory for 28 months.

"This analysis shows more carbon release in 2015 relative to 2011 over Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia", Eldering writes in one of the five published papers.

OCO-2 Deputy Project Scientist Annmarie Eldering of JPL said that knowing about how the carbon cycle in these three tropical regions responded to El Nino would enable scientists to improve carbon cycle models and as a result, they will get improved predictions of how our planet may respond to similar conditions in the future.

These increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide were 50% larger than the average increase seen in recent years.

"These drier and hotter conditions stressed vegetation and reduced photosynthesis, meaning trees and plants absorbed less carbon from the atmosphere", Nasa said.

Normally about 25 percent of the human-caused carbon emissions are sucked up by plants on land, but during this powerful El Nino that was only 5 percent, said Junjie Liu, a NASA scientist and study lead author.

The scientists have used carbon dioxide data from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT) and compared the 2015 findings to those from the reference year 2011. The team also added that these studies would help them to understand the future changes in climate.