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Covering an area of Latin America almost twice the size of India, the Amazon rainforest is one of the most biologically and culturally diverse ecosystems on Earth – and, storing some 200 billion tons of carbon, one of the planet’s greatest defenses against climate change.
However, having already lost 18 percent of its tree cover, and with deforestation showing no signs of slowing, the Amazon is approaching what’s known as a ‘tipping point’ – the point at which it will no longer be able to sustain its natural cycles, which for the Amazon means losing its rainfall and ultimately drying out into an entirely different ecosystem.
How close are we to witnessing the Amazon’s tipping point? In this GLF Live, we heard from Luciana Gatti, one of the foremost researchers and authors for the UN’s Science Panel for the Amazon, on what’s driving this dangerous process and what can be done to stop it before it’s too late.
Luciana Gatti is a senior researcher in climate change for the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE) and a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Laboratory coordinator at INPE’s General Coordination of Earth Science. She is a high-precision GHG specialist, coordinating projects in Amazonia and the Brazilian coast. Her scientific objective is to understand the Amazon GHG balance and the drivers that impact these balances, conducting international and national projects.