Unchecked climate change will cause severe drying of the Amazon forest
Amazon rain forests could be at far higher risk of extreme drought than previously thought, according to new research.
An international study, led by the University of Leeds, warns that huge areas in the eastern part of the Amazon face severe drying by the end of the century if action is not taken to curb carbon emissions.
As a result, large amounts of carbon dioxide would be released from the forest into the atmosphere, adding to the greenhouse gas effect and driving further climate change.
The increased dryness during the Amazon dry season would further threaten the viability of large parts of the rainforest, as trees are already water stressed and there is greater risk of forest fires.
The predicted droughts could also have far-reaching consequences for the Amazon water cycle, biodiversity, and the population that lives in the region.
The findings, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, predict reductions in rainfall that are comparable to the drying seen during the major droughts of 2005 and 2010, which caused widespread tree mortality and had major impacts for Amazon communities.
The research team examined factors regulating the process by which forests transfer water from the soil to the atmosphere - known as evapotranspiration.
Dr Jessica Baker, of the University of Leeds' School of Earth and Environment, led the study.
She said: "People in Brazil and across the globe are rightly concerned about what the future holds for the Amazon, and its valuable store of carbon and biodiversity.
"The Amazon is at risk from the twin threats of deforestation and climate change.#globalwarming #climatechange #carboncompensation #bluesky #climateemergency #climatecrisis #blueskye #blueskyefoundation #compensate #greentechexchange #zerocarbon #climatenews #blueskyelife #elonmusk #billgates #greentech #nasa #nasaclimate #greenfacts
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