Amazon doesn’t actually go green in dry seasons

Optical illusion made forests appear to grow faster

By Meghan Rosen, 13:00 PM February 5, 2014

An optical illusion may explain why Amazon forests appear greener during dry seasons. 

Satellites observing the forests’ canopies have picked up signs that leaf production cranks up when moisture is scarce. But the trick of light means that Amazon forests might be more vulnerable to drought than scientists suspected. The new analysis of satellite data appears February 5 in Nature.

The study also revamps the forests’ role in carbon storage, says Eric Davidson, a forest ecologist at the Woods Hol...

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