Amazon Turning Into Dry, Carbon-Emitting Dust Forest

“That such a strong drought should follow the ‘One in 100-year’ drought of 2005 only five years afterwards in 2010 is exceptional, and of concern. The 2010 drought appears to have been more widespread than in 2005, and this may have important consequences in regions across Amazonia already prone to drought stress. The underlying climatic cause needs to be understood more fully, and its impact quantified, not just on the ecology of the region, but also on society.”
 — Patrick Meir, professor of ecosystem science at the University of Edinburgh, on satellite measurements of rainfall that indicate 3 million square kilometers of rainforest went dry last year. The resulting decomposition of trees killed by the drought could result in 5 billion metric tons of CO2, which is about the annual U.S. output. (In normal years, all the healthy trees in the Amazon absorb CO2.) I sure hope some of the those 1,200 newly discovered exoplanets are inhabitable. And that maybe the Jerusalem UFO will come back to pick us up.