The rainforest in the Amazon has seen continued destruction, even after repeated warnings. As a result, over 10,000 types of animals and plants are in extremely high danger of going extinct. 35% of the rainforest has been degraded or deforested already. On Wednesday, a momentous scientific report published the alarming findings.
The Amazon Science Panel (SPA) produced the report. It has 33 chapters and collects research about the Amazon rainforest done by 200 scientists globally. It has the most details about the forest’s state than any other studies previously published. It also clearly shows Amazon’s role in influencing the global climate, and also the extreme risks in front of it.
The report added that forest degradation and deforestation must be made zero within a decade. It also called for huge restoration efforts in the areas that have already been destroyed.
The Amazon’s Future Looks Bleak
The Amazon rainforest is one of the most important shields against climate change. It absorbs and stores a massive amount of carbon. The report estimates that the vegetation and soil of the forest contain nearly 200Bn tonnes worth of carbon. That is over five times the amount of CO2 emitted globally every year.
Moreover, human interference has continued to cause destruction in the forest. As a result, over 2,300 animals and 8,000 plants endemic to the area face a high extinction risk. Science has once again shown that humans are facing potentially catastrophic and irreversible risks due to several environmental crises. This includes biodiversity decline and climate change.
Mercedes Bustamante, a professor at Brasilia University, said that there is still a small period where the trajectory can be changed. He added that Amazon has a central figure in solving the crises that the world faces.
Deforestation has increased manifold since 2019 when Jair Bolsnaro took charge as President of Brazil. Last year, it reached the highest ever in the past 12 years.
The effects are already being felt. Another report showed that the forest was emitting more CO2 than they were absorbing, from the areas that have been destroyed.