• Dave Harmon, PW editor

Scientists see tipping point for wholesale ecosystem conversion in Amazon within 50 years

“We’re on the edge of a cliff,” says top climate scientist Carlos Nobre, who published an editorial with renowned conservation biologist Thomas Lovejoy last month warning that “The Amazon tipping point is here.”

Many scientists who study the Amazon rainforest are very worried. The tropical biome over recent decades has grown increasingly dryer, making the once nearly fireproof rainforest prone to raging wildfires. Extreme weather events, such as high heat, droughts and floods, are on the rise. The dry season is getting longer and hotter and trees are dying. Computer models show that all this could be a foreshadowing of far worse to come — potentially, a recipe for a tropical rainforest disaster.

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