The Amazon rainforest will be wiped out over the next few decades, environmental expert warns.
The Amazon rainforest is the world’s largest tropical forest, covering well over two million square miles. It also happens to be one of the most biodiverse places of Earth, helping to improve the world’s oxygen by reducing global air pollution and providing water for local communities across South America. However, in a recent study, University of Florida scientist, Professor Robert Toovey Walker, revealed that the Amazon will likely transition from a ‘moist forest’ to ‘a tropical savanna’ in the next 40 years.
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By 2064, the Amazon may become completely unrecognisable, with the volume of trees and plant life significantly reduced and widespread draughts taking place regularly. Unfortunately, human activity in the form of mining, deforestation, and logging, as well as the effects of climate change – for which we are ‘all responsible’, has lead to this heartbreaking result. The study concluded that this transition is inevitable as it’s very unlikely that ‘The Amazonian forest will remain resilient to changes in the regional hydroclimate.’
According to Walker “These concerns – recently intensified by Amazonian fires in the summer of 2019 – have put the focus on regional climate changes capable of inducing a tipping point beyond which the moist forest transitions to a tropical savanna. This could happen in a number of ways but would probably include some combination of changes in average annual precipitation and dry-season intensity.”
He continued “The biggest concern involves intensification of drought-based tree morality stemming from the synergies of fire, deforestation, and logging. The development of Amazonia now lies on a collision course not only with the interests of conservation but also with the welfare of the very people it is meant to benefit.”