"A Collapse of the Amazon Could Be Coming ‘Faster Than We Thought’"

"A new study weighed a range of threats and variables in an effort to map out where the rainforest is most vulnerable."

"Up to half of the Amazon rainforest could transform into grasslands or weakened ecosystems in the coming decades, a new study found, as climate change, deforestation and severe droughts like the one the region is currently experiencing damage huge areas beyond their ability to recover.

Those stresses in the most vulnerable parts of the rainforest could eventually drive the entire forest ecosystem, home to a tenth of the planet’s land species, into acute water stress and past a tipping point that would trigger a forest-wide collapse, researchers said.

While earlier studies have assessed the individual effects of climate change and deforestation on the rainforest, this peer-reviewed study, published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, is the first major research to focus on the cumulative effects of a range of threats.

“This study adds it all up to show how this tipping point is closer than other studies estimated,” said Carlos Nobre, an author of the study. Dr. Nobre is a Brazilian Earth systems scientist who studies how deforestation and climate change might permanently change the forest."

Manuela Andreoni reports for the New York Times February 14, 2024.


"Global Warming, Deforestation, Fires Combined Could Hasten Amazon Demise, Study Finds" (Reuters)

Source: NYTimes, 02/15/2024