rainforest with flames in foreground

Amazon Rainforest Nearing a Tipping Point, Researchers Warn

The collapse of the Amazon rainforest’s ecosystem, home to a tenth of Earth’s land species, could collapse much more quickly than earlier estimated, according to an international team of prominent researchers including UCLA’s Susanna Hecht. Their peer-reviewed paper, the first major study to focus on the cumulative effects of a range of variables including temperature, drought, deforestation and legal protections, appeared in the journal Nature and has been covered by news outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, BBC and the Guardian. A forest-wide collapse is “happening much faster than we thought, and in multiple ways,” the researchers said. The study called on governments to halt carbon emissions and deforestation and restore at least 5% of the rainforest. Hecht, professor at UCLA Luskin Urban Planning and the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, is director of the university’s Center for Brazilian Studies.


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