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Amazon Rainforest Will Be Wiped Out By 2064, Scientist Warn

Amazon Rainforest Will Be Wiped Out By 2064, Scientist Warn

A scientist from the University of Florida has warned the Amazon rainforest will become a 'savanna' due to the effects of climate change and the area will be beyond the point of recovery by 2064.

The Amazon is the largest tropical forest on Earth, covering around 2.3 million square miles. It reduces air pollution and helps to regulate the world's oxygen and carbon cycles, as well as creating its own precipitation to provide communities with water.

The Amazon rainforest after a fire in 2019 (Credit: PA)
The Amazon rainforest after a fire in 2019 (Credit: PA)

In a new paper, published in the journal Environment, Professor Robert Toovey Walker warns the Amazon stands on the verge of a 'tipping point' and that the change is all down to human activity which we are 'all responsible' for.

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Walker, who is a professor of Latin American Studies and Geography at the University of Florida predicts the Amazon will transition from a 'moist forest' to a 'tropical savanna' over the next few decades.

Walker says local communities depend on the Amazon as a source of water and the Amazon's transition to a tropical savanna will also mean 'the magnitude of the catastrophe will be worse than heretofore imagined' in 44 years' time.

The Amazon rainforest on fire in 2019 (Credit: PA)
The Amazon rainforest on fire in 2019 (Credit: PA)

The professor also explains that a 'collapse' of environmental governance in Amazonian nations such as Brazil has renewed concerns about the rainforest's fate.

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He writes in the paper: "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."

The Amazon rainforest (Credit: PA)
The Amazon rainforest (Credit: PA)

He adds: "It is doubtful that the Amazonian forest will remain resilient to changes in the regional hydroclimate.

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"The biggest concern involves intensification of drought-based tree mortality 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."

Featured Image Credit: Wikicommons

Topics: Environment, Life News, News, Wildlife, Animals, Amazon, Health, Nature

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Gregory Robinson

Gregory is a journalist working for Tyla. After graduating with a master's degree in journalism, he has worked for both print and online publications and is particularly interested in TV, (pop) music and lifestyle. He loves Madonna, teen dramas from the 90s and prefers tea over coffee. Get in touch [email protected]