We Aren’t Terrified Enough About Losing The Amazon,,

edkbolnhfbcboohn Scientists aren’t sure if there’s a tipping point, or how close we are to it – but it would be “absolutely catastrophic” if we cross it, reports James Temple.

The context: With fires raging in the Brazilian Amazon, media reports have resurfaced a scary scenario where a certain level of deforestation will push the world’s largest rainforest to a tipping point where spiraling feedback effects convert much of the forest into savannah.

A scary prospect: In this scenario, rather than holding 17% of the world’s carbon trapped in vegetation on land, the Amazon would become a major source of it. Scientists can’t say exactly where the tipping point would be, but like other climate tipping points, which are unpredictable and essentially irreversible once reached, we should err on the side of caution.

Are we nearing it? So far, at least 17% of the Amazon has already been lost. As little as 20% deforestation could begin to trigger the irreversible “savannafication” process.


%d bloggers like this: