Scientists Warn Of “Cascading System Collapse” In Amazon Rainforest

As the Amazon Rainforest continues to burn as a consequence of cut-and-burn deforestation practices, we are gradually coming close the point of no return. Over the last 50 years, about 20% of the rainforest has been scorched or cut away, according to The Intercept


As the recent fires continues and the policies that led to them stay to exist, another 20%— that’s 300,000 square miles — could soon be gone as well. At that point, researchers caution of a “cascading system collapse,” in which the Amazon starts to totally crumble, and discharge a planet-devastating amount of stored carbon in the process.

The Amazon rainforest used to be a major carbon sink, meaning an area that kept massive stores of confiscated carbon from going into and heating the atmosphere. But The Intercept reports that the rainforest has already been  destroyed by deforestation to the point that the residual forest no longer makes up for the amount of carbon that’s already been discharged.

If more gets cut or burned away, the subsequent greenhouse gas releases would be equal to a “doomsday bomb,” to quote The Intercept, that would not only lead to the crumbling of the rest of the forest, but possibly also planet-wide environmental devastation.

“His project for the Amazon is agribusiness,” Francisco Umanari, an indigenous Apurinã chief told The Intercept about president Bolsonoro’s environmentally dangerous policies. “Unless he is stopped, he’ll run over our rights and allow a giant invasion of the forest. The land grabs are not new, but it’s become a question of life and death.”