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Amazon tipping point: up to 47% forest threatened by climate change and deforestation, study warns

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Euronews or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: A new study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research reveals that up to 47% of the Amazon rainforest, often referred to as 'the planet's lungs,' is at risk from climate change-induced threats such as rising temperatures, droughts, deforestation, and fires by 2050
• The southeastern Amazon in Brazil has transitioned from a carbon sink to a carbon source, exacerbating global warming

🔭 The context: The Amazon rainforest is critical for the global climate, storing carbon equivalent to 15-20 years of current human CO2 emissions
• The research identifies five critical thresholds — including global warming, annual rainfall, and deforestation — that must not be crossed to prevent the Amazon from reaching a tipping point

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The Amazon's destruction could lead to a cascade of ecological consequences, including altered rainfall patterns in South America, loss of biodiversity, and increased carbon emissions
• This would significantly accelerate global warming, making the Amazon's preservation crucial for mitigating climate change.

⏭️ What's next: The study warns of the Amazon approaching a tipping point, which could result in parts of the rainforest transitioning to savanna-like vegetation, further diminishing its ability to act as a carbon sink
• Immediate actions, including halting deforestation and reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, are essential to prevent crossing this critical threshold

💬 One quote: "The current amount of human pressure is too high for the region to maintain its status as a rainforest over the long term," (Boris Sakschewski, PIK scientist)

Click for more news covering the latest on climate change

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