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  • we know the amazon rainforest is a pivotal  part of earth's ecosystem and losing it will  

  • be devastating to the planet we've already lost  20 percent and scientists warn that the rainforest  

  • is coming uncomfortably close to a tipping point  where an irreversible change in the climate system  

  • could transform this luscious landscape intodry savanna-like ecosystem which would be huge  

  • the amazon basin spans over 6 million square  kilometers and is home to one-fifth of the  

  • world's land species it also supports the 30  million people who live and depend on the land as  

  • a source of food medicine and shelter that's not  even including the key role it plays in regulating  

  • the regional and global climate trees absorb water  through their roots and transport it to their  

  • leaves where it's released as water vapor through  small pores in a process called transpiration  

  • as the water vapor rises and condenses it forms  rain clouds over the forest canopy basically the  

  • rainforest is making its own weather for example  one large tree can release 1 000 liters of water  

  • into the atmosphere in a single day the rainforest  recycles this water up to six times before it  

  • moves out of the region but as more trees are cut  down those that remain may not be able to recycle  

  • enough water to survive fewer trees means more  sunlight will hit the forest floor exposing the  

  • forest to higher temperatures since deforestation  began accelerating in the 1970s 800 000 square  

  • kilometers of the amazon have been lost and over  that same period the average temperature of the  

  • basin has risen by one degree celsius scientists  are concerned that if deforestation continues for  

  • another 10 to 15 years the eastern and southern  amazon will turn into a savannah not only would  

  • losing the rainforest mean a drastic change in  this weather system but remember the amazon is  

  • also a well-known and excellent carbon sink this  means that its trees suck carbon dioxide right out  

  • of the air and store it in their biomass through  photosynthesis an estimated 136 to 181 billion  

  • metric tons of carbon are stored this way helping  to slow the rate of global warming but scientists  

  • have found evidence that the amazon could flip  from being a carbon sink to a carbon source if  

  • unchecked deforestation continues some estimates  show that this is already happening in one fifth  

  • of the amazon and yet deforestation continues  between august 2018 and july 2019 tree loss  

  • has increased to more than ten thousand square  kilometers the largest rate in roughly a decade  

  • with scaled-back environmental protections in  the region commercial operations like farming and  

  • logging are expected to continue growing the rate  of deforestation at present fires are typically  

  • set to clear the land for these practices in fact  an estimated 90 of the amazon fires in 2019 were  

  • intentionally set releasing roughly 392 million  metric tons of co2 into the air and in just the  

  • first eight months of 2020 fires added around 226  million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air  

  • the equivalent of nearly 50 million cars this is  where the scientists forecast comes in according  

  • to their study if deforestation reaches 20 to  25 percent of the amazon it will flip to a dry  

  • savanna the reality check is that we're almost  there current deforestation is at a frightening 17  

  • across the entire amazon basin and approaching  20 in the brazilian amazon so at this point  

  • you're probably wondering we're at our limits and  what can even be done well don't lose hope last  

  • september a motivated group of scientists formed  the science panel for the amazon their plan is to  

  • produce a scientific assessment by 2021 to propose  solutions to help secure the forest's future  

  • there are also ambitious reforestation  projects in areas like abandoned cattle ranches  

  • these reforested areas make up about 23  of destroyed forests and can absorb carbon  

  • 11 times faster than the trees that once stood  there so there is a glimmer of hope and remember  

  • unlike the 2019 to 2020 forest fires in australia  and california that were fueled by climate change  

  • more than 90 percent of fires in the amazon were  set by people which means that we actually have  

  • the power to stop them by changing our behaviors  we can tip the scale in our favor and avoid the  

  • savannah-like conditions that scientists say are  quickly approaching but that's just a projection  

  • it won't become a reality unless we let it the  climate crisis is here and we're here to cover  

  • it let us know what other stories you'd like to  learn more about down in the comments subscribe  

  • to seeker to stay informed and as always thank  you so much for watching i'll see you next time

we know the amazon rainforest is a pivotal  part of earth's ecosystem and losing it will  

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The Amazon Rainforest Could Become A Savannah Within 15 Years, Here’s How

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/12/30
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