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Ecosystems on brink of collapse, last generation to witness Amazon's beauty?

The Amazon rainforest, recognized as one of the most vital ecosystems on planet, has been a focus of concern. Startling studies ecological

By groundreportdesk
New Update
Ecosystems on brink of collapse, last generation to witness Amazon's beauty?

In a study recently published in the journal Nature Sustainability, scientists from Rothamsted Research, together with researchers from the Universities of Southampton, Sheffield and Bangor, issued a dire warning about the state of the world's ecosystems. His research emphasizes the urgent need for immediate action to prevent catastrophic collapses that could occur in our lifetimes.

The Amazon rainforest, recognized as one of the most vital ecosystems on the planet, has been a focus of concern. Startling studies now project a possible ecological collapse of the Amazon by the year 2100. Professor Simon Willcock, co-director of the study, expressed great concern, saying: "It could happen very soon. Realistically, we could be the last generation to see the Amazon".

The study's revelations are expected to ignite heated debates. While the link between fossil fuels and global warming is well established, the science of tipping points and their interactions remains relatively underdeveloped.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has taken a cautious stance, acknowledging the potential for a tipping point in the Amazon by the year 2100. However, leading scientists, including Brazil's Carlos Nobre, have warned that this point no return can come much later. sooner.

The researchers emphasize that previous studies focused predominantly on single drivers of destruction, such as climate change or deforestation. However, the combination of multiple threats, including water stress, degradation and pollution of rivers from mining, accelerates the decomposition process.

The collapse of Lake Erhai in China serves as a clear example. Initial projections based solely on agricultural runoff did not account for additional stresses such as climate variation, water management, and pollution, ultimately leading to a rapid loss of resilience within the lake system.

By analyzing two lake ecosystems and two forests using complex computer models with 70,000 variable settings, the team found that up to 15% of collapses occurred due to new stresses or extreme events, even when the main stress remained constant. This vital lesson highlights that even if one aspect of an ecosystem is sustainably managed, the introduction of new stresses such as global warming and extreme weather events can tip the delicate balance towards collapse.

Although the scope of the study was limited, the authors emphasize the need for urgent action by policymakers. Previous research on ecological tipping points projected significant social and economic costs in the second half of the 21st century. However, current findings suggest that these costs may occur much sooner, requiring immediate attention.

The study further highlights the importance of considering the combined impacts of various factors affecting ecosystems, rather than focusing on isolated factors. Human-induced stress, affecting water, soil, and species, has not been fully considered in the analysis of environmental collapse. The four models in the study indicate that when primary stresses rise, the tipping point could be between 31% and 81% closer than previously estimated.

The researchers emphasize the need to take these factors into account in the critical analysis to establish more precise estimates. Taking timely actions for the conservation of ecosystems is of the utmost importance. The future of the planet and the survival of precious ecosystems depend on immediate and decisive action to mitigate risks before it is too late.

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