Still, the future of the Amazon rainforest and the amazing biodiversity that it abounds, is caught between the rapid expansion of resource use and the fires fueled by climate change, which is still growing dismal.
In a new report issued by the journal Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, geologist Robert Tovey Walker of the University of Florida reviews recent research on the Amazon rainforest. Bleak result.
Drought, fires and deforestation
According to the report, which was reported by Science Alert on January 2, extending dry seasons in forests will not allow for the five years that they need between dry seasons and each other to recover from fires; This allows flammable grasses and shrubs to take hold.
And “can expect the southern Amazon to reach a turning point sometime before 2064 at the current rate of length of the dry season,” according to the report.
The number of fires in the Amazon region in 2020 surpassed the previous year’s horror fire season by October alone.
Humans destroyed 1,202 square kilometers of forest in Brazil during the first four months of 2020. Models predict that, once 30% -50% of deforestation is reached in the southern forest regions, this will reduce the amount of rain by up to 40% in the west. .
Human beings and beings are victims
According to Walker’s statement on the ScienceAlert website, “The best way to think about a forest ecosystem is that it is a pump,” “The forest recycles moisture, which supports regional precipitation. And if we continue to destroy the forest, the amount of rain decreases .. and in the end, The pump is destroyed. “
If this terrible scenario occurs, the water security of the more than 35 million people who consider this region their home will evaporate.
“People out there, they don’t worry too much about biodiversity, the environment, when they have to worry about eating their next meal,” Walker says, and more plants and animals will be pushed to the brink of extinction.
And earlier in 2020, a report published in Nature Communications found that the Amazon, one of the most biodiverse and carbon-rich places on Earth, is on a path of no return, and that its ability to absorb excess carbon in the world is diminishing. Quickly.
Corporations and policies
As with the climate crisis, corporations and government policies (or the lack thereof) are the biggest drivers of these problems. Trade deals with the United States and the European Union create irresistible incentives for large-scale cultivation in Brazil.
Moreover, Walker explains that the Brazilian government’s current infrastructure projects and disjointed environmental policies are all leading to a loss of 25% of rainforests in the near future, a level researchers previously warned could be a turning point towards a wider collapse.
Unfortunately, this problem is by no means unique to South America. We are all surrounded by faltering ecosystems, with one in 5 countries heading for ecosystem collapse. Even rich countries, like Australia, are refusing to take the necessary measures to protect our environment.