Amazon at a Tipping Point
Today, Science Advances published an editorial co-written by ABC founder Thomas E. Lovejoy and well-known Brazilian climate scientist Carlos Nobre. In it, Dr. Lovejoy and Dr. Nobre elevate an issue with global impact that hasn't gotten much attention -- that deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is bringing the ecosystem to a tipping point:
"We believe that negative synergies between deforestation,
climate change, and widespread use of fire indicate a tipping
point for the Amazon system to flip to non-forest ecosystems in
eastern, southern and central Amazonia at 20-25% deforestation."
As they write in the editorial, the follow-on degradation of the region's rainforests and precipitation cycle could affect regional water supplies for human consumption and agriculture. And they call for reforestation of the Amazon to create a margin of safety to prevent us from "discovering the precise tipping point by tipping it." Read the editorial here: http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/2/eaat2340.