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Over 10,000 Amazon Rainforest Species Risk Extinction, Landmark Report Warns

Published by Slashdot on Thu, 15 Jul 2021


An anonymous reader quotes a report from CBC.ca: More than 10,000 species of plants and animals are at high risk of extinction due to the destruction of the Amazon rainforest -- 35 percent of which has already been deforested or degraded, according to the draft of a landmark scientific report published on Wednesday. Produced by the Science Panel for the Amazon (SPA), the report brings together research on the world's largest rainforest from 200 scientists from across the globe. It is the most detailed assessment of the state of the forest to date and both makes clear the vital role the Amazon plays in global climate and the profound risks it is facing. Cutting deforestation and forest degradation to zero in less than a decade "is critical," the report said. It also called for massive restoration of already destroyed areas. Furthermore, the report said the continued destruction caused by human interference in the Amazon puts more than 8,000 endemic plants and 2,300 animals at high risk of extinction. According to the report, of the Amazon basin's original size, 18 per cent has already been deforested -- mostly for agriculture and illegal timber. Another 17 per cent has been degraded. A separate study published in the journal Nature on Wednesday showed that some parts of the Amazon are emitting more carbon than they absorb, based on measurements of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide taken from above the rainforest between 2010 and 2018. Lead author Luciana Gatti, a scientist at Brazil's Inpe space research agency, suggests the increased carbon emissions in southeastern Amazonia -- where deforestation is fierce -- is not only the result of fires and direct destruction, but also due to rising tree mortality as severe drought and higher temperatures become more common.Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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