Amazon Rainforest Facing Historic Drought and Potential Permanent Damage, Scientists Warn

Source: Flickr/Neil Palmer/CIAT

The Amazon rainforest is home to several million people and species. Despite its reputation as a dangerous place, this large area is critical for the earth. One is its ability to stabilize the climate by absorbing 150-200 billion tons of carbon.

Sadly, this beloved forest is in trouble. Studies show that the Amazon rainforest is experiencing a historic drought. This lack of water and resources isn’t an isolated anomaly and could spell doom for the plant. Read on to uncover how

Importance Of The Amazon Rainforest

Before reviewing the declining state of the Amazon rainforest, it’s best to understand its importance. First, more than 40 million people and 400 Indigenous groups call this place home. It supplies them with clothing, medicine, and food.

Source: Wikimedia/Chris Parker

For the planet, the Amazon rainforest helps to stabilize the climate. How? Since its history, scientists estimate the forest has absorbed 150-200 billion tons of carbon from the atmosphere. They also released 20 billion tons of water into the atmosphere and optimized the global water and carbon cycle.

The Amazon Rainforest Is Drying Up

Sadly, recent studies show that the Amazon rainforest might end soon. This prediction is due to record-breaking droughts that have taken over this area. But how bad is it?

Source: Wikimedia/Vyacheslav Argenberg

In 2022, part of the Negro River near Manaus, Brazil, shrank to 12.7 meters. This is its lowest point recorded for over 120 years. At the same time, 150 dolphins were found dead in Lake Tefe. Why? Because the water came close to 40 Celsius, which is fatal for these creatures.

What’s Killing This Treasured Rainforest?

The massive dolphin death and drying rivers are signs of a historic drought taking over the forest. But what’s the cause? The study revealed multiple culprits, but the first is climate change.

Source: Wikimedia/Peter Angritt

The study showed that rising global temperatures contributed to the increased drought. In fact, experts claim that climate change made the hot and drying rivers 30 times more likely to happen. However, the heat isn’t the only culprit.

Deforestation Is Killing The Amazon

The Amazon rainforest usually regulates the climate, so scientists found it strange that it was being altered by the weather. Sadly, humans are responsible. Increased deforestation in the Amazon has weakened its ability to protect us and itself.

Source: Wikimedia/Daniele Gidsicki

How much have we taken from the Amazon rainforest? Approximately 20% has been deforested, and 6% of it has been degraded. This tree removal is to make way for cattle ranching, as it accounts for 80% of deforestation in the Amazon.

The Damage May Be Permanent

Forests usually heal themselves after receiving a lot of damage. Even the Amazon rainforest recovered from the blazing fire that went viral in 2019. Sadly, scientists predict that this drought may be permanent. The historic Amazon forest may be in its last life.

Source: Wikimedia/Ibama from Brasil

Other experts echo the impending doom of this beloved rainforest. For example, Regina Rodriguez says, “We should be apprehensive about the health of the Amazon forest,” Rodrigues is a study co-author and researcher at Brazil’s Federal University of Santa Catarina.

Everyone’s Affected By The Heavy Drought

The water is boiling, and dolphins are dying, but that’s not the only problem. Others are affected as well. The Nature Conservancy reported that all nine Amazon rainforest countries were affected by the drought. Even Brazil struggled with the heat, and it holds 60% of the jungle.

Source: Wikimedia/Pmau

What’s the effect? Vital waterways dried up within a few months. This forced many people to make complex journeys across the dried-up river for food, medicine, and essential supplies. It’s destabilized the regions

The World Should Be Concerned

Global warming has been a significant problem since the 1980s. However, we’ve always relied on the Amazon forest to help manage the temperature increase. This area absorbs tons of carbon yearly and is one of Earth’s defenders.

Source: Wikimedia/Becker1999

Sadly, constant deforestation weakens the jungle’s effectiveness. With fewer trees trading oxygen for carbon, the Amazon’s ability to regulate the climate decreases. What’s the repercussion? The weather goes up, leading to global problems that kill more trees.

Modern Medicine Will Suffer As Well

As the Amazon forest degrades, people will be left homeless, and millions of animals will die. Surprisingly, experts explain that modern medicine will suffer as well. How? Once the Amazon ecosystem breaks down, vital plants will also be destroyed.

Source: Wikimedia/Natalia2323

Many plants in the Amazon jungle are valuable in modern medicine. In fact, 70% of the botanical life used for treating cancer is found only in the rainforest. While we can extract and plant them elsewhere, it introduces a new struggle to modern medicine.

Can We Fix The Amazon Rainforest?

The Amazon rainforest is on the verge of permanent destruction. Many are asking if there’s something experts and modern science can do to fix the issue. Fortunately, some experts propose a solution.

Source: Wikimedia/Ben Hemmings

The best option is to limit human activities. More precisely, humans have driven global warming with dirty energy and overconsumption of resources. Fixing this consumption problem addresses the root cause of the drought.

All Hands-On Deck!

Cutting down our overconsumption of resources may be too much to ask. Many industries may be affected badly, leading to more economic problems. This is why some experts encourage support in other ways.

Source: Wikimedia/Ben Hemmings

The public could support this cause by donating or recycling unwanted items. They can also promote decision-makers on environmental issues with their vote or monetary help. Nevertheless, one thing is sure. We need all hands on deck!

No Rainforest For The Future Generation

The Amazon rainforest is one of Earth’s defenders. It provides fresh water to the atmosphere and absorbs excessive carbon. Sadly, it’s deteriorating quickly due to drought caused by global warming. What’s worse is the effect.

Source: Wikimedia/takoradee

Millions of people now have limited access to food and medicine due to the dried-up river. Over 150 endangered pink dolphins died due to the water being 40 degrees Celsius. Sadly, there’s no cure for the rainforest. So, it’s possible that the future generation won’t witness the majesty of the Amazon rainforest.

What do you think?

200 Points
Upvote Downvote
Mary Scrantin

Written by Mary Scrantin

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

AI Solves Nuclear Fusion Quandary For Almost Limitless Clean Energy

20,000 Year Old Footprint Belonged To One Legged Man