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Urgent: The Amazon is Getting Warmer and Drier

The Amazon rainforest is in grave danger. Threatened by deforestation, land degradation, and the impacts of climate change, the Amazon faces a tipping point that could have catastrophic consequences for our planet. In this blog post, we delve into an insightful essay written by Carlos A. Nobre, Co-Chair of the Science Panel for the Amazon (SPA), which sheds light on the critical issues facing this magnificent ecosystem and the solutions that are urgently needed.

The Amazon is home to a staggering array of biodiversity, hosting 18% of vascular plant species, 14% of birds, 9% of mammals, 8% of amphibians and 18% of tropical fish species. But the Amazon’s ecological significance extends far beyond its astounding biodiversity. It plays a vital role in regulating the Earth’s climate, influencing weather patterns, and acting as a substantial carbon stock.

The warming of the Amazon is not a distant concern; it is happening right now. Over the last four decades, the region has experienced a 1.2°C temperature increase. This rise in temperature is connected to more frequent extreme climate events, such as floods and droughts, which are wreaking havoc on the Amazon’s ecosystems.

Deforestation, degradation and wildfires are relentless threats to the Amazon. These processes are driven by various factors, including deforested-land market articulated with large-scale agribusiness and infrastructure development, and are pushing the Amazon closer to a tipping point. The rates and location of forest loss are influenced by a complex interplay of political decisions made decades ago, economic forces, and environmental laws.

The consequences of this situation go far beyond the Amazon itself. Climate change and environmental degradation have a profound impact on the people who depend on the region. Human health, food and water security, and even cultural traditions are at risk. The urgency of the situation cannot be overstated.

Carlos A. Nobre and the SPA present a comprehensive strategy to secure a sustainable future for the Amazon. Their three-pillar approach includes measures for conserving and restoring the Amazon’s ecosystems, developing innovative socio-bioeconomic policies, and strengthening governance systems. The Amazon’s future is inextricably linked to the well-being of our planet. The time for action is now. It’s crucial that we recognize the Amazon’s cultural, ecological, and global significance and work together to ensure its survival.

To read the full essay by Carlos A. Nobre, based on the work of the members of the SPA, specially the Amazon Assessment Report of 2021; and to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and solutions related to the Amazon, please visit the original article.