Climate Change Doom Looms for 85% of Amazon

Death of much of the rainforest is inevitable even under most optimistic scenario
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2009 1:40 AM CDT
Climate Change Doom Looms for 85% of Amazon
Researcher Julio Tota climbs a steel tower used to monitor the weather in the dense Amazon rainforest near the northern city of Manaus, Brazil.   (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Climate change may be a bigger threat to the Amazon rainforest than all the chainsaws in the world, the Guardian reports. New research predicts a global temperature rise of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit—widely believed to be the best-case scenario even if carbon emissions are slashed—would kill off up to 40% of the forest within a century, while a 7.2-degree increase would wipe out 85% of the rainforest.

Researchers believe the change will be irreversible, and warn that the effects—likely including more severe weather and an acceleration of global warming—would be felt around the world. "The tropics are drivers of the world's weather systems, and killing the Amazon is likely to change them forever," warned a climate professor.
(More Amazon rainforest stories.)

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