Rainforests are very sensitive to changes that affect rainfall for extended periods. If rainfall drops below a certain threshold, areas may shift into a savanna state.
“In around 40 percent of the Amazon, the rainfall is now at a level where the forest could exist in either state – rainforest or savanna,” says Arie Staal, formerly a postdoctoral researcher at the Stockholm Resilience Centre and the Copernicus Institute of Utrecht University.
He is lead author of a study published in the journal Nature Communications. Centre colleagues Lan Wang-Erlandsson and Ingo Fetzer were among the co-authors. MORE
Header image: Parts of the Amazon region are currently receiving less rain than previously and this trend is expected to worsen as the region warms due to rising greenhouse gas emissions. Credit: A. Staal.