9 March 2022.
Recently, a study on the Amazon rainforest was published in the Nature Climate Change journal.
- Using 30 years of satellite data and statistical tools, the researchers observed that around 75% of the Amazon rainforest is likely heading towards a tipping point.
- Amazon rainforest is losing its ability to bounce back from extreme events such as prolonged droughts or forest fires. Thus, there is a chance that the Amazon rainforest may transform into a dry savanna-like ecosystem.
- This transformation will have negative impacts on the Amazon forest’s unique biodiversity, and its potential as a carbon sink. It will also contribute to global climate change.
About Amazon rainforest
Amazon rainforest is a large tropical rainforest in the South American continent. They are called lungs earth. Around 30% of the world’s species are found in the Amazon rainforest, they include 40,000 plant species, 16,000 tree species, 1,300 birds, and more than 430 species of mammals.
Threats to Amazon rainforest
Deforestation is the biggest threat. The rainforest is being destroyed for agriculture, constructing roads, mining, hydropower projects, timber extraction, etc.
Impact of destruction
- The destruction of the Amazon rainforest will have a significant impact on the amount of rainfall over South America.
- The rainforest may no longer be a carbon sink rather it may become a carbon source.
- This means rather than storing carbon, forests may release more carbon than they absorb.Similar observations are made by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) in its assessment reports.
- Reducing deforestation and limiting carbon emissions are necessary to protect the Amazon rainforest.