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Rain Forest in Northern Australia Doing Well

The northern part of Australia is getting hotter, but it is no drier. A comparison of data from the 1950s and the present shows the borders between rain forest and eucalyptus forest remained the same. However, the density of rain forest increased by 732 ha. Neither drainage, geology, topography, aspect or elevation are responsible. The climate has definitely changed. Despite a series of El Nino dry spells since the 1950s, the country is becoming wetter.

This rain forest expansion has slowed over the last 2000 years, with 25 per cent being tall open forest. Eucalyptus forests are spread out in irregular shaped pockets which are very stable. Higher CO2 is responsible for the increasing density of rain forest. The humidity keeps damage from fires low.

Overall, this is good news for the world generally. Brazilian rain forest stores 250-300 C ha–1 (carbon per hectare). Though Australian rain forest stores less, it is still significant. There is a possibility that local factors in Australia are having this effect. Yet indicators do point to global warming.
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