The Amazon rainforest depends on regular and plenty of rainfall in order to sustain its ecosystem. When the amount of rain in the rainforest diminishes it is possible that it becomes a savanna-type ecosystem according to research published in the scientific journal Natural Communications.
“In around 40 percent of the Amazon, the rainfall is now at a level where the forest could exist in either state – rainforest or savanna, according to our findings,” says lead author Arie Staal.
Researchers discovered as the amount of emissions increase, larger parts of the amazon become unstable and dryer. The higher emissions get, the harder it is for parts of the rainforest to regrow and restore itself. Meaning, that rainforest being cut today will not be able to restore itself to former levels.
“If we removed all the trees in the Amazon in a high-emissions scenario a much smaller area would grow back than would be the case in the current climate,” says co-author and center researcher Lan Wang-Erlandsson.
This means that before being able to restore the amazon, emissions must be cut first. The study did not take into account extra stress on the ecosystem like industrial logging and intentional forrest fires.