07 Oct '11, 7pm

The Amazon Dieback Scenario

Lalo de Almeida for The New York Times A strip of former Amazon forestland now grazed by cattle in Brazil. In an article last weekend about rising stress in the world’s forests, I briefly mentioned that computer projections regarding the future of forests are still in a primitive state. Scientists cannot really say whether trees will continue to take up a big proportion of our carbon emissions through the rest of this century, or whether they will instead succumb to climate change on a large scale. You can find reports in the scientific literature to support both outcomes, and every prospect in between. Which scenario is right has big implications for how fast carbon dioxide builds up in the atmosphere, and therefore for how fast the climate warms. The stakes are also high for many beloved landscapes in the United States. “Is it true that the forests of the eastern U.S. wi...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/07/the-amazon-dieb...

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