The world is slowly dying and it’s all because of humans’ greed. The Amazon rainforest, which is one of the world’s largest and richest ecosystems could very well collapse within the next 50 years. They are nearing a breaking point where once the line is crossed, then it could turn into a dry savannah.
According to CNA, the rainforest is reaching an ecological tipping point and once it starts collapsing, then it is likely to be gone much faster than previously thought. Scientists said that this serves as another wake-up call for policymakers to make a change and stop the cycle of destruction of the natural world.
This was based on a study published on Tuesday (March 10) in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications and done by using computer simulations using real-world data from more than 40 natural environments. The scientists also studied another major ecosystem, the Caribbean coral reefs and found that this nature’s beauty could die in only 15 years once it reaches its own point-of-no-return.
They said that the Amazon rainforest could possibly shift to “a savannah-type ecosystem with a mix of trees and grass” in less than 50 years. For the Caribbean coral reefs which measure about 20,000 square kilometres in size, they could become bleached and sparsely populated in just 15 years.
Nature is facing a serious threat thanks to human activities due to deforestation and pollution. In the end, it’s humanity who will be suffering dire consequences if they lose all of this biological diversity. Yet, scientists said that they have not figured out how to predict when a tipping point happens, as it is normally viewed through hindsight.
“A forest that is 100 times bigger than another one does take longer to collapse, but it will take much less than 100 times the time … what this means is that the biggest ecosystems that we have in the world are likely to collapse much quicker than we think, in a matter of decades,” said John Dearing, professor of physical geography, who was part of the research team along with scientists from Bangor University in Wales and London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.
Climate change is also exacerbating the destruction of ecosystems as the Earth’s temperature gets warmer over the years. Scientists say that clearing 35% of the Amazon’s surface could likely trigger its collapse. Since 1970, the beautiful rainforest that straddles seven nations and covers more than five million square kilometres has lost about 20% of its size due to deforestation.
Experts are calling for changes to be made and urging humans to brace themselves for changes in the environment. Recent examples such as the blazing wildfires in the Amazon and Australia were made worse by climate change. Lead author Simon Willcock, a professor at Bangor University’s School of Natural Science said that the Amazon ecosystem could pass a point-of-no-return as soon as next year.
It’s time to take climate change just as seriously as we are taking Covid-19 because this affects all of us as well!