Ben See+ Your Authors @ClimateBen Literature Teacher informing pupils of the scientific reality of the Ecological Catastrophe & urging them to act. See also @urgenceclimatiq & @ClimateHound Aug. 12, 2019 3 min read + Your Authors

'Drought-stress across the Amazon is increasing faster than the forest is changing in response.'

What will happen to the Amazon as temperatures soar over 1.5°C towards 2°C (or even 3°C) over the next 10 years? 

From 2012: "We are reaching a tipping point in terms of drought.."

Scientists used to think the Amazon was too wet to burn, but a warming Atlantic Ocean is drawing moisture away from the rainforest priming the region for bigger fires. ⚠️ 

Fires were 36 percent more common during the 2015 Amazon Rainforest drought than in the preceding 12 years. 

From 2008:
'The next few years represent a unique opportunity, perhaps the last, to maintain the resilience, biodiversity and ecosystem services of Amazonia in the face of a medium threat of significant drying and a high threat of significant deforestation' 

Under midrange greenhouse-gas emission scenarios, temperatures are projected to rise 3.3°C this century, slightly more in the interior in the dry season, or...

⚠️by up to 8°C if substantial forest dieback affects regional biophysical properties.⚠️ 

'in the Amazon and, possibly, in the Congo Basin, 30-50% may be the deforestation tipping point that affects rainfall dramatically.

Studies indicate 29% deforestation rates in the Amazon in the period between 2012-2013.' 

Consequences of wholescale deforestation likely to be 'far more severe in terms of intra-continental rain patterns' than currently predicted in climate models.

Are hydrological consequences of deforestation 'far more important' than ghg emissions..?!? 

A 3°C rise by 2049, would see 75% of the Amazon Rainforest forest destroyed by 2150.

So what if that 3°C rise occurred more abruptly, by 2029? 

"What we think is that with [global] warming at 3 degrees or 4 degrees Celsius, the forest could collapse".

"If this happens, there are hundreds of billions of tonnes of CO2 that are concentrated in the trees and can be expelled to the atmosphere". 

Spiraling global warming feedback.

Tropical forests as net sources of CO2 instead of carbon sinks.

Until now forests, have been sucking CO2 out of air...

"The worry is that, as the climate warms, that will stop, and that's exactly what we saw." 

“The species most vulnerable to droughts are doubly at risk, as they are typically the ones restricted to fewer locations in the heart of the Amazon, which make them more likely to be extinct if this process continues.” 

"If the dry season is too long, the rain forest will not survive."

The Amazon rain forest's dry season lasts 3 weeks longer than it did 30 years ago due to global warming.

"At some point...the rain forest will reach a tipping point.' (from 2013) 

It can be assumed that *all* tropical forests and ecosystems around the world are experiencing “accelerating decline” as a result of human-caused climate change, and that species found nowhere else on Earth are on the verge of disappearing forever.


Deforestation will continue to chip away at the Amazon rainforest, but in the next several decades climate change will speed up the process.

A forbidding scenario: near-extinction for the South American forest occurring by the end of the 2040s. 

68% of the indigenous lands and protected natural areas in the nine nations encompassing the Amazon region are under pressure from roads, mining, dams, oil drilling, forest fires and deforestation. 

Some models predict that a 2.5℃ warming could cause the Amazon rainforest to disappear within 200 years.

(Most climate models still don’t even factor in how vegetation will respond to changes in climate). 

You can follow @ClimateBen.


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