As Emissions Grow, More Parts of the Amazon Are Likely to Dry Out

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A larger part of the Amazon rainforest could cross a tipping point where it could become a savanna-type ecosystem than previously thought.

A larger part of the Amazon rainforest could cross a tipping point where it could become a savanna-type ecosystem than previously thought.

Rainforests are very sensitive to changes that affect rainfall for extended periods. If rainfall drops below a certain threshold, areas may shift into a savanna state.

β€œIn around 40 percent of the Amazon, the rainfall is now at a level where the forest could exist in either state – rainforest or savanna,” says Arie Staal, formerly a postdoctoral researcher at the Stockholm Resilience Centre and the Copernicus Institute of Utrecht University.

He is lead author of a study published in the journal Nature Communications. Centre colleagues Lan Wang-Erlandsson and Ingo Fetzer were among the co-authors.

Read more at Stockholm Resilience Centre

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