The Amazon river basin is home to the biggest tropical rainforest in the world. It is one of the major carbon sinks as well as oxygen contributors in the world. What has led to its deterioration? Mostly human intervention. Well all this is stale news because Luciana Gatti at Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research believes that Amazon Forest does not have much time. “We are in an emergency, we need action now.” says Luciana.
For years Luciana has been studying the Amazon Forest from the sky. She believes that in 5 years Amazon will reach a point of no return and once we reach the tipping point, the dense rainforest will turn into dry savannah land.
Gatti thinks some parts of the Amazon have already crossed the line. The western parts of the Amazon Forest are still acting like carbon sinks because of its unreachability. But the deteriorated forest land towards the east is now releasing more carbon than the amount absorbed. That means the Amazon Forest is losing its role as a carbon offsetter and becoming the complete opposite.
Soy farming and the beef industry are one of the biggest reasons for deforestation in the Amazon, followed by mining, logging and other human activities. The forest is slowly but steadily changing its character as an oxygen producer. As the seasonal forest fires persistently inch westwards, the lungs of the planet will breathe out more and more smoke. It seems that the clock is ticking and humanity is playing numb rather than taking necessary steps.