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Deforestation Pushing Amazon to Its Ecological Limits

Many of the Risks and Ecological Processes are Poorly Understood, Studies Warn

By Max Ajl

Feb 23, 2010

We often think — wrongly — of ecological systems as linear. Adding a certain amount of CO2 to the atmosphere means a certain amount of warming. Twice that amount, twice the warming. Losing 10 percent of a forest means 10 percent less forest. Twice that amount of deforestation means twenty percent less forest. Stuff like that.

But that’s not how . They’re integrated. Their components rely on one another to function properly.

If you were to lose 20 percent of your heart function, you’d have a good chance of dying. If you lose a leg, you don’t go from running a mile in 9 minutes to running it in 18. Massive blows to holistic systems can be crippling, especially when they can't be replaceable by intricate and expensive artificial substitutes as is sometimes possible for human organs. We don’t know how to “substitute” for the water cycle short of expensive desalinization plants on a coast, and we can’t replace the pollination that bees perform.

For that reason, among others, the precautionary principle applies. When you don’t know the effects of damaging a highly complex, invaluably important ecological system, make sure not to damage it.

This is the lesson from a recent World Bank-sponsored preliminary analyzing the combined effects of deforestation and climate change. Among the study’s authors are researchers from Japan and Brazil, the University of Exeter, and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

The study notes that the Amazon contains about 10 percent of the world’s land-based carbon and recycles perhaps half the rain that falls upon it, in effect determining rainfall patterns across a huge swath of Latin America, and indeed far-flung locales like Europe and Central Asia. But when forests become more arid, there is less transpiration. In turn, there is less surface cooling from rainforests, and regional air temperatures increase, exacerbating evaporation and water stress.

Furthermore, as a team of researchers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,

“Land-use change and fire also affect the rainfall regime by greatly increasing the aerosol content of the atmosphere through smoke and dust. High aerosol content favors less frequent but more intensive convective rain and possible suppression of rain in the dry season.”

A serious enough blow to the Amazon’s vitality could induce decarbonization, “eventually forcing the Amazon through a gradual process of savannization,” now a real and pressing concern.

Many of these risks and processes are at best poorly understood. However, preliminary assessments are dire. Thomas Lovejoy, the chair of biodiversity at the Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, in Washington D.C., and the chief adviser for biodiversity to the World Bank, characterizing the layered, destructively synergistic results of climate change, deforestation and fire, Tierramérica,

“The tipping point for the Amazon is 20 percent deforestation,” and that is “a scary result.”

Earlier of the Mato Grosso, the southern portion of the Amazon, found similar danger thresholds. When soil quality deterioration and deforestation were modeled together, they found that 20 percent deforestation turned the northern part of the Mato Grosso into dry savannah. Their modeling suggested that even after 50 years there would be no recovery.

But such earlier studies didn’t properly analyze what would happen when deforestation and soil destruction occurred in concert with global warming.

Since forests produce their own rain, as deforestation occurs, there is less rainfall. Decreased rainfall means increased dryness. Increased dryness leads to increased frequency of forest fires, incinerating the forest and drying out stands of trees that aren’t directly affected. The process is destructively cyclical, eventually turning great chunks of the forest to cerrado, Brazilian savanna.

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Deforestation Pushing Amazon to Its Ecological Limits

The jungle of Brazil is called "lungs of the World", there are now serious worldwide concern about the indiscriminate deforestation of the jungle Amazon product of trouble with climate change, unfortunately it's a topic you solve comepete only the government of Brazil.
But international groupings should compensate to Brazil. This indiscriminate attack on the Amazon rainforest to stop, for all this should be substitute and financial 's requirements, compensation or other measures to "this forest remains intact".
We should not forget that the human population grows, but the earth remains

it's so sad =)

Man you need to grow up LOL.

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