March 12, 2024 at 12:39 pm

Scientists Warn That By 2050 The Amazon Rainforest Will Collapse And 50% Of It Will Be Transformed Into “Scrubby Savannah”

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Shutterstock

If you’re a little bit older, you might think we’ve been talking about the Amazon rainforest – why it’s important, how it’s in trouble – for decades now.

You would be right, but these new warnings sound a bit different (and more dire than others).

That’s because, according to this new paper, large parts of the rainforest are nearing an “irreversible tipping point.” They warn that deforestation and climate change will lead to a total collapse in less than 30 years.

By 2050, they say more than 50% of the rainforest will be transformed into scrubby savannah, forest with low tree cover and open canopy, or degraded forest filled with “invasive, opportunistic plants.”

Source: Shutterstock

Co-author Niklas Boers issued a statement with more details.

“To maintain the Amazon forest within safe boundaries, local and global efforts must be combined. Deforestation and forest degradation have to end and restoration has to expand. Moreover, much more needs to be done to stop greenhouse-gas emissions worldwide.”

Researchers found that deforestation rates, fires, and rising temperatures have drive the Amazon nearly to the point of no return.

They pointed out the connection between rainfall and forest fires.

“Below 1800 mm per year, abrupt transitions from rainforest to a Savanna-like vegetation become possible. This can be triggered by individual droughts or forest fires, which both have become more frequent and more severe in recent years.”

Source: Shutterstock

These changes impact not only regional climate patterns but global feedback loops on the whole, because the Amazon holds hundreds of billions of tons of carbon right now.

If the Amazon collapses, we’ll all be in trouble.

But it seems like we’ve known that for a long time now.

If you think that’s impressive, check out this story about a “goldmine” of lithium that was found in the U.S. that could completely change the EV battery game.