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Amazon Rainforest Might Not Recover From Damages, Changes May Trigger 'Dieback': Report

The rainforest has started to lose its ability to recover from the damages caused by droughts, land-use changes. Besides droughts, deforestation at higher levels and the burning of agriculture has also taken a toll.

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The Amazon rainforest has started to lose its ability to recover from the damages caused by droughts, land-use changes. Once it crosses the critical stage, it will have vast consequences for biodiversity and climate change, a recent study has revealed. This could further trigger a 'dieback', it states.

The world's largest tropical forest is heading towards a tipping point beyond which much of it will be replaced by grassland. Besides droughts, deforestation at higher levels and the burning for agriculture has also taken a toll on the rainforest.

No Comeback

The study has been conducted by the University of Exeter, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and the Technical University of Munich. The research is based on satellite data from 1991 to 2016.

"We find that more than three-quarters of the rainforest has been losing resilience since the early 2000s, consistent with the approach to a critical transition. It is being lost faster in regions with less rainfall and parts of the rainforest closer to human activity," BBC quoted the scientists.

The study does not mention when the 'tipping point' might be reached.

Adverse Effects On Environment

Speaking to the media, one of the study's authors, Dr Chris Boulton, said that the rainforest contains vast amounts of carbon. Once it releases into the atmosphere, it would increase temperatures and severely affect global mean temperatures.

Another researcher, Dr Tim Lenton, said losing the rainforest could result in up to 90 billion tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

Amazon Rainforest

The global rainforest covers most northwestern Brazil and extends into Colombia, Peru and other South American countries. Thousands of rivers, including the Amazon, flows through it.

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Writer : Devyani Madaik
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Editor : Shiva Chaudhary
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Creatives : Devyani Madaik