After Gutenberg has a post on our un-terraforming of the Amazon rainforest - Contributing to Our Demise.
As this blog again noted, we are “terraforming the Amazon,” in the worst possible way. Mongabay predicts that “southern Amazon forest cover may fall to 20% by 2016.”
Die back of the Amazon rainforest (approx 50 years, large uncertainty) is one of the major tipping points. Global warming and deforestation will probably reduce rainfall in the region by up to 30 percent. Lengthening of the dry season, and increases in summer temperatures would make it difficult for the forest to re-establish. Models project die back of the Amazon rain forest to occur under three to four degrees Celsius global warming within fifty years. Even land-use change alone could potentially bring forest cover to a critical threshold.Forest cover in the “Arc of Deforestation” of southern Amazonia will decline to around 20 percent 2016 due to continued logging and conversion of forests for cattle pasture and soy farms, report researchers writing in the journal Environmental Conservation. The results are independent of impacts resulting from climate change, which some researchers say could dry the Southern Amazon and turn it into a tinderbox.
We’re just cutting it down and burning it up. Climate change will finish it off in other couple of decades. (By the way, that’s 90 gigatons of sequestered carbon we’ll be releasing, once the whole forest is destroyed.)