As recent research got unveiled, we learn how much suffering the Amazon rainforest encounters. One of the world’s richest and most significant ecosystems might turn into an arid savannah within half-a-century.
The Caribbean coral reefs, another vital ecosystem, could disappear, too, in only 15 years. Such events could cause dire consequences for us and other species. Also, in both cases, the predicted tipping point for inevitable change results from environmental damage and global warming – acidification and pollution in the case of corals, and deforestation for Amazon.
How Amazon Rainforest and Coral Reefs Will Change?
The IPCC, UN’s climate science advisory panel, has stated that 1.5 degrees Celsius of atmospheric warming would destroy 90 % of the world’s deepest-water corals. And 2 degrees Celsius increase would wreck them. Earth’s ground has already warmed up more than 1 degree Celsius so far.
As for the Amazon’s basin rainforest, almost 20 % has been destroyed since 1970, mostly for the production of palm, oil, soy, lumber, and biofuels. Soon, we should start getting ready to witness more changes than previously believed.
From Basin to Origin
The Amazon ecosystem could pass a so-called “point-of-no-return” in 2021. Alexandre Antonelli from the Royal Botanical Gardens in London talked about the loss of the world’s biggest rainforest. He stated: “Unless urgent action is taken now, we may be on the brink of losing the world’s largest and most biodiverse rainforest, which has evolved for at least 58 million years and sustains the lives of tens of millions of people.”
Another research, however, indicates that the world’s tropical forests are quickly losing their ability to absorb CO2. The Amazon rainforest could rapidly turn from a CO2 basin into a source. For obtaining such data, scientists examined more than 40 natural environments in water and on land, from small ponds to the Black Sea.