"Much of the Amazon could be on the verge of losing its distinct nature
and switching from a closed canopy rainforest to an open savannah with
far fewer trees as a result of the climate crisis, researchers have warned.
Rainforests are highly sensitive to changes in rainfall and moisture
levels, and fires and prolonged droughts can result in areas losing
trees and shifting to a savannah-like mix of woodland and grassland. In
the Amazon, such changes were known to be possible but thought to be
many decades away.
New research shows that this tipping point could be much closer than
previously thought. As much as 40% of the existing Amazon rainforest is
now at a point where it could exist as a savannah instead of as
rainforest, according to a study published in the journal Nature
Any shift from rainforest to savannah would still take decades to take
full effect, but once under way the process is hard to reverse.
Rainforests support a vastly greater range of species than savannah and
play a much greater role in absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere."
Via Glyn Moody, who wrote "this is the greatest tragedy today, and yet
few are paying attention; we are so stupid…"
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics