Brazilian Amazon’s Worst Drought in 40 Years Brings Rainforest to Brink of No-Return

The devastating drought currently affecting the Amazon rainforest is part of a vicious cycle created by the combined affects of global warming and deforestation and could cause the collapse of the rainforest, according to scientists from the Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment (LBA) in Amazonia and Greenpeace.

The LBA is an international research initiative led by Brazil which aims to create the knowledge needed to understand the climatological, ecological, biogeochemical and hydrological functioning of Amazônia, the impact of land use change on these functions and the interactions between Amazônia and the Earth system.

"Brazil is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate changes in the world because of its invaluable biodiversity. If the Amazon loses more than 40% of its forest cover, we will reach a turning point from where we cannot reverse the savannization process of the world’s largest forest," said Carlos Nobre, from the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE) and President of the International Geosphere Biosphere Program (IGBP).

Seventeen per cent of the Amazon has been completely wiped out over the past 30 years, according to INPE, and even more has been damaged by destructive and illegal logging and other human activities. Life on Earth depends on ancient forests for its survival. They are the richest most diverse habitats, and help stabilize climate and regulate the weather.

"This drought and its effects are really shocking. Towns are lacking food, medicines and fuel because boats cannot get through," said Carlos Rittl, Greenpeace Brazil’s climate campaigner.

"If the landscape I’ve seen this week is a sign of things to come, we’re in serious trouble. We risk losing the world’s largest rainforest, the network of rivers and invaluable and varied life it sustains, much of which we haven’t even discovered or researched."

Greenpeace has been gathering dramatic images of the worst drought in 40 years in the Amazon this week. The Amazon River basin is at its lowest level in decades.

Floodplains have dried up and people are walking and using bicycles on areas in which canoes and riverboats used to be the only means of transport. Large boats have become stuck in the dry mud and the landscape is covered with thousands of rotting dead fish, which are attracting dozens of vultures.

Amazonian deforestation and fires account for more than 75% of Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions and place it amongst the top four contributors to global climate change.

"The Amazon is caught between two destructive forces and their combined effects threaten to flip its ecosystems from forest to savannah if measures are not taken to stop deforestation and combat climate change," said Rittl.

Greenpeace is calling on governments to take urgent action to stop deforestation and commit to the massive CO2 reductions needed to protect the Earth’s biodiversity and millions of people who are at risk from the impacts of climate change and ancient forest destruction.

Greenpeace – www.greenpeace.org

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  • Show Comments (7)

  • jaz

    people have no rite to do this πŸ˜‰

  • Rossana

    Jade
    Jade,

    you can not talk any sence to ignorant Americans. the person above you probably believe that jesus will save it.from destrution which is a laughing matter actually, lol
    Yes it is USA presidents fault for all he cares about is killing everything in his path and those who supports him needs a taste of their own medicine.

    Rossana

  • jade

    😐
    i think that we need to have a serious think about what we are doing to this earth, its people like the one above me that are just too ignorant to care, its not just our earth we are ruining think about all the animals..who are totally innocent..what will happen to them.all you people care about is money and luxuries..what about the earth?

  • Guest

    Wateva
    Yeah yeah, rave on people we are all gonna die someday anyway, so…who really cares anyway??

  • Guest

    !!
    Well yes it is some of our fault since we’re just that stupid, better act now before it’s to late. It is also the entire worlds fault because everyone of us has needed wood from the rain forests, we just need to manage it more and find other ways to solve the problem of wood and paper. I disagree with your fatiuous statement.

  • Guest

    Help
    We are all going to die!!

  • Guest

    ???????????
    ….if the turning point is at 40 % deforestation and that you are now at 17 %….why bother….now !

    You still have plenty deforestation to do.
    From 17 to 40 %….means you can safely double your total deforestation ! Right ??????

    I suppose that then Brazil will say it is because of the USA that deforestation took place. That the USA are responsible and should pay for the poverty that droughts have generated !!!!!!

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