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Amazon rainforest could be drying out


Posted on Wednesday, 26 December, 2012 | Comment icon 5 comments


Image credit: Fernando S. Aldado

 
New fears have been raised over the rainforest's capacity to adapt to upcoming changes in the climate.

So-called "once-in-a-century droughts" have started to become more frequent and this is only likely to get worse as conditions become warmer and drier. While the rainforest is able to adapt to climate change to an extent, the question is now whether it will be able to adapt enough to cope with what is likely to come over the next few decades. Couple this with human deforestation and there could be bad news in store.

"Individuals can acclimate, species can adapt or migrate, or they go extinct," said biologist Kenneth Feeley. "Species are moving upslope about three vertical meters a year - that’s really fast. Based on the climate change that’s already happening, they need to move nine or 10 vertical meters a years."

"Although it has seen warmer temperatures in the past, the western Amazon is under siege now from a combination of a warming climate and human population growth that it has never faced before."

  View: Full article |  Source: Scientific American

  Discuss: View comments (5)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Zaphod222 on 26 December, 2012, 15:30
Oh please give us a break, global-warming nuts.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Darkwind on 26 December, 2012, 17:24
I has been shown if you cut down the trees then the engine that creates rain in a forest will stop and you will have drought and desertification. It is not about globe warming as such as much as it is about loss of tree cover and soil stabilization. The goal of short term profit over long term survival will be our undoing.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Paracelse on 26 December, 2012, 17:53
Added the facts that earth magnetic poles are shifting also doesn't help. What we call global warming is a constant change in our magnetic field which moves the location of the equator. What was once the North pole will something else. read
Comment icon #4 Posted by Hilander on 28 December, 2012, 1:27
We are all doomed. Population of the trees is the only thing going down and we need them more than they need us.


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