A Forest Called Amazon

Article number: 31; Article world : 349;

The rate at which deforestation is happening , should be a matter of concern. From 2004 to 2012 the rate of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon slowed. But deforestation has again picked up under the clock of the current president(refer the diagram below). The rain forest scientists suspect that, if trees loss passed a certain threshold, the deforestation would start to feed on itself. Beyond this tipping-point, forest cover would keep shrinking whatever humans might try to do to stop it. Also spelling extinction for tens of thousands of species, that devastation would change weather patterns over much of South America and release into the atmosphere tens of billions of tonnes of carbon, worsening global warming.

The Amazon is unique among tropical rain forest in that it produces a lot of its own rainfall. As moisture travels from the Atlantic to Peru, the Amazon’s trees recycle some of it; around half the forest’s rain is reused this way. Rainwater is pulled up from the roots to the canopy, where it is released back to the atmosphere to fall as rain again. Not only does this provide moisture to the region, the evaporation off the leaves also has a local cooling effect. This is what has led to worries about tipping-points.

Fires are not new to the Amazon, but recently they seem to have been more frequent and intense. This kicks off a vicious cycle. Dead trees open gaps in the canopy, allowing more light and wind to reach the forest floor, which becomes hotter, drier and more prone to burn again. The debris left over from the previous fires will serve as fuel for the flames. “After that,” she says, “there won’t be many trees left.”

Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, accuses outsiders of hypocrisy—did rich countries not fell their own forests?—and, sometimes, of using environmental dogma as a pretext to keep Brazil poor. “The Amazon is ours,” the president thundered recently. What happens in the Brazilian Amazon, he thinks, is Brazil’s business.

we all need to focus towards solving this problem quickly before the damage is irreversible.

Reference

Economist

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