The Amazon rain forest, which are considered lungs of the earth, is moving closer to the tipping point where it will completely disappear in 50 years. Deforestation, fires and climate change will dry out the largest rain forest on earth, according to a new study.
Nature Communications journal published the study in its latest edition. The study analysed the risk of different ecosystems and their transformation. The researchers point out that changes were happening faster than previously expected. Man-made and natural catastrophes are reasons for these fast changes, the study said.
The study was conducted by researchers from Bangor University, Southampton University and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. They warned that drought, deforestation and fire will transform large Amazon regions into an ecosystem more like a savannah in ten or 15 years. The study notes that tree felling has shrunk the forest by around 15 per cent from its 1970s extent. It says that more than 19 per cent of forest has disappeared in Brazil, which has more than half the forest. The research also noted that average temperature in the forest rose by 1 to 1.5 degree Celsius.
The changes that happen to the largest rain forest will impact everything from food to oxygen and water, says joint lead author Dr Simon Willcock of Bangor University’s School of Natural Sciences. He said that wildlife should also get more attention as they help to slow down the shift to alternative ecosystem.