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[ARTICLE] "Amazon tipping point: Last chance for action"

Amazon Biodiversity Center founder Dr. Thomas Lovejoy (not one prone to exaggeration) and Dr. Carlos Nobre authored a Dec. 20 editorial in Science Advances stating that the Amazon rainforest has reached the irreversible tipping point which they have been warning about:

"Researchers predict that deforestation will lead to developing savannahs mainly in the eastern and southern Amazon, perhaps extending into central and southwestern areas, because these zones are naturally close to the minimum amount of rainfall required for the rain forest to thrive. Forests would also be pushed toward savannah[....] The loss of forest will lead to staggering losses of biodiversity, carbon, and, in turn, human well-being."

The scientists are telling the world that we have to act now or it's disaster for humans as well as nature. Dr. Lovejoy and Dr. Carlos Nobre go on to say:

"The good news is that we can build back a margin of safety through immediate, active, and ambitious reforestation particularly in the deforested regions that are largely abandoned cattle ranches and croplands, about 23% of destroyed forest territory. These areas, which now lay fallow, are probably the main reason why the Amazon has not already become an expanding savannah."

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