Is the Amazon at a tipping point?

Land is burned to create pastureland for cattle in Mato Grosso State, Brazil in this file photo. A new study weighed a range of threats and variables in an effort to map out where the rain forest is most vulnerable. — ©2024 The New York Times Company

UP to half of the Amazon rainforest could transform into grasslands or weakened ecosystems in the coming decades, a new study has found, as climate change, deforestation and severe droughts damage huge areas beyond their ability to recover.

Those stresses in the most vulnerable parts of the rainforest could eventually drive the entire forest ecosystem, home to a tenth of the planet’s land species, into acute water stress and past a tipping point that would trigger a forest-wide collapse, researchers said.

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