6 October 2020
A team of Europe-based scientists used the latest available atmospheric data to conclude that the tropical forests especially the Amazon are slowly changing into Savannah like environment.
- Due to low rainfall in the Amazon up to 40% of it risks tipping over into a savanna-like environment, with far fewer trees and far less biodiversity.
- Forests are particularly sensitive to changes that affect rainfall for extended periods, and trees may die off if areas go too long without rain.
- This can have significant knock-on effects on nature — with the loss of tropical habitats — as well as the climate as shrinking forests lose their ability to absorb manmade emissions.
- It also increases the risk of fire
- .In addition to the Amazon loss, the team found that the forest in the Congo basin was at risk of changing to savanna, and that large swathes would not grow back once gone.
What is a Savannah?
A savanna or savannah is a mixed woodland-grassland ecosystem characterised by the trees being sufficiently widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of grasses.
What is Amazon Forest?
The Amazon rainforest, is the world’s largest tropical rainforest, famed for its biodiversity. It’s crisscrossed by thousands of rivers, including the powerful Amazon.