On Land

The Amazon Rainforest...
Could be gone within one lifetime

<< Reload video >>

Extract from Prof John Dearing's study of 42 ecosystems - 4 terrestrial, 25 marine and 13 freshwater:
☞ Dearing et al

John Dearing was the recipient of the Murchison Award (2014), given by the Royal Geographical Society in recognition for publications contributing to the understanding of environmental change.

β€œThe messages here are stark. We need to prepare for changes in our planet's ecosystems that are faster than we previously envisaged. Caribbean coral reefs could collapse in 15 years while the Amazon rainforest could die back within 50 years. These findings are yet another call for halting the current damage being imposed on our natural environments that pushes ecosystems to their limits.”

"The implications of this study for the Amazon are terrifying. Unless urgent action is taken now, we may be on the brink of losing the world's largest and most biodiverse rainforest, which has evolved for at least 58 million years and sustains the lives of tens of millions of people."
(Alexandre Antonelli, science director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew)

Large ecosystems such as the Amazon rainforest and coral reefs could collapse faster than scientists have previously assumed. While larger ecosystems take longer to collapse - due to their sheer size - the rate at which they can degrade and then disappear can happen significantly faster than in smaller systems.

That is because the sub-systems and habitats that make up larger systems initially seem more resilient but unravel very rapidly when a tipping point is reached, according to the study, also by researchers from the School of Oriental and African Studies and the University of Bangor.

The findings are likely to amplify concerns recent fires in the Amazon could weaken the rainforest's ability to withstand climate change, the University of Southampton said.

☞ Read the full report

Climate Council
"Land Carbon No substitute for cutting fossil fuels"