The New York Times reported that, according to new research, the Amazon region is losing its ability to recover from disturbances such as drought and land-use change. Beyond a certain tipping point, most of the rainforest will be replaced by grasslands, severely affecting biodiversity and climate. If the Amazon is lost, up to 90 billion tons of carbon dioxide will enter the atmosphere
The scientists say their study does not confirm when this tipping point will be reached, "but it is worth reminding that when that tipping Special Database point is reached, we will lose the Amazon rainforest and the global climate will change with it," one of the authors said. , said Tim Lenton, director of the Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter in the UK. Losing the Amazon rainforest could cause as much as 90 billion tons of carbon dioxide to re-enter the atmosphere, equivalent t has experienced three droughts since 2000. Most past research on Amazonian resilience has been based on models or simulations of forest health over time. In the new study, the scientists used actual observations—satellite telemetry of biomass in specific areas over decades—as an indicator of forest health.
The researchers found that the overall resilience of the undisturbed parts of the rainforest alone has declined since 2000, one phenomenon being that it takes longer and longer for forests to recover from drought. "The lack of resilience means that forests are limited in their ability to withstand blows," said Paulo Brando, a tropical ecologist at the University of California, Irvine, who was not involved in the study.