The Amazon Desert?

Amazon to become soy plantation, or savannah, or desert. Your preference?

I’ve never met her, but ever since I was a child, I’ve been in love with her. And I’ve vowed to do all I can to protect her from harm, for her own sake, and through her, the world. Her name is Amazon.

Now, I see that she is falling apart, and probably dying. How do I feel? How would you feel?

Biodiversity-wise, she still comprises a quarter of all Earth’s species today. Considering a minimum of 20 million species in total, the Amazon alone hold 5 million species. I thought the Great Amazon Rainforest becoming the Great Amazon Savannah or the Great Amazon corn/soy/sugar-cane plantation were terrible. 5 million species is what we stand to lose if the Great Amazon Rainforest becomes the Great Amazon Desert – within decades. Everyday we do nothing or keep doing what we’ve been doing means several thousand more species will be added to the grand total. Developing the Alberta tar sands alone may mean a million species or more. Are we really that anthropocentric and selfish?

As in my last article about the melting Arctic, I present to you below a collection of articles pulled from the internet with “global warming Amazon”. I did not pick and choose which to include and which to exclude for a biased view. I’ve included the words of global-warming skeptics and deniers and nay-sayers, as well as CNN, New York Times and Washington Post and even Greenpeace. And I have included articles from Brazil itself. Again, I suggest first and foremost to scan the titles from beginning (1988) to the present (2008), and then choose a few to go in depth.

You will notice an alarming development (to skeptics: Go ahead, call me an “alarmist” and make my day.) In 2004, an “alarmist” predicted oncoming drought for the Amazon. In 2005, a sever drought did descend upon the Amazon, which raised further alarms. In 2006, the drought returned, leading scientists to warn that the Amazon could not withstand another round. 1n 2007, the drought returned with a vengeance, and many Amazon subsystems were devastated or have downright collapsed. Will there be Drought 4, Drought 5, Drought 6…? We have only 5 months to see about Drought 4. So stay tuned.

Meanwhile, in the latter half of 2007 and early 2008, the rate of direct destruction – by slash-and-burn and chainsaw – accelerates, despite Brazil’s promise to curb deforestation for the Nth year.

And let’s not forget fossil fuels exploration and development in the Amazon Basin..

Several plausible scenarios have predicted Amazon turning into a giant corn, soy and sugar-cane plantation for biofuel, or into a giant savannah which would suit cattle barons and McDonalds well, or into a giant desert (for imported camels?). The real picture is probably a combination of all the above, all bad.

As always, the solution-coin has two sides – conservation and technology. And the key words are just three – immediately or sooner. And the whole coin is just one – our will.


1988-08-12 New York Times – Vast Amazon fires, man-made, linked to global warming

1996 Rainforest Facts

1999-01-09 Agence France-Presse – NASA planes to participate in Amazon global warming study

1999-04-14 BBC News – Amazon forest loss estimate doubles

2001-03-27 Discovery Channel – Amazon may take some heat off global warming

2001-06-26 National Geographic – Loss of Amazon rainforest may come sooner than expected

2001-12-13 National Geographic – Adult Amazon trees gain mass – due to higher CO2 concentration?

2002-04-11 – Accounting Scandal! Accountant reveals new carbon source

2002-05-01 from S. America – The Amazon rainforest

2002-11-26 – Amazon forest faces climate catastrophe

2003-02-16 – Global warming endangers Amazon

2003-02-17 The Guardian, UK – Global warming endangers Amazon,12374,897152,00.html

2003-09-09 – Global warming may threaten Amazon

2003-11-04 New York Times – Deep in the Amazon – vast question about the climate

2003-12 – Preserving the Amazon – Step 1 – Defeat fatalism

2004-03-10 – CO2 is key suspect in rainforest change

2004-04-06 The Why Files – Drought predicted – bye-bye amazing Amazonia (excellent – predicts drought ahead – see droughts ahead)

2004-10-22 Global warming: nature’s pressure points

2005 Amazon Prosperity – Amazon botanicals bring health and wealth

2005-02-08 Climate Ark – Amazon “breathing uneasily”

2005-02-15 Brazil – Global warming might turn the Amazon into scrubland

2005-03-29 – Worst Amazon drought in 40 years linked to global warming

2005-10 US Water News Online – Major drought hits Amazon rainforest

2005-10-21 Amazon drought – deforestation and climate change to blame

2005-12-02 Earth Observatory – Tropical Atlantic cooling and African deforestation correlate to drought, report scientists

2005-12-05 Earth Observatory – Why the Amazon is so rich in species

2005-12-08 Earth Observatory – ORNL-led study shows forests thrive with increased carbon dioxide levels

2005-12-08 Terra Daily – Global warming to hit rivers in Mediterranean, Amazon, Midwest

2005-12-11 – “Unprecedented” drought cripples life along Amazon

2005-12-13 Earth Observatory – Amazon tree much older than assumed, raising questions on global climate impact of region

2005-12-13 Science Daily – Changes to land cover may enhance global warming in Amazon

2005-12-22 Earth Observatory – Storing carbon to combat global warming may cause other environmental problems, study suggests

2006-03-22 WWF – Climate change a threat to Amazon rainforests

2006-03-23 Planet Ark – Greater efforts needed to save Amazon rainforest

2006-03-24 – Emerging Technology Trends – Can we save the Amazon rainforest?

2006-04-27 McDonald’s eating up the Amazon

2006-07-19 BBC News – How climate change and logging are affecting the Amazon

2006-07-23 The Independent – Amazon rainforest could become a desert

2006-07-23 Climate Ark – Amazon at climate-caused desertification tipping point

2006-07-23 The Independent – Dying Forest – One year to save the Amazon

2006-07-24 NZ Herald World – Disastrous drought second year in a row – one more year could tip the whole system into destruction

2006-07-24 Green Diary – Amazon rainforest turning to desert, triggering irreversible global warming

2006-07-24 Terra Nature – A disaster to take everyone’s breath away

2006-07-25 – The Sietch Blog – Amazon could become desert

2006-07-28 Fundamentalist Christianity – Amazon rainforest “could become a desert”

2006-07-29 Minding the Planet – Amazon desertification may start next year – Global warming could increase by 50%

2006-07-29 Science Buzz – The Amazon rainforest needs rain

2006-08-01 BlueGreen Blog – Amazon in 2nd year of drought, cannot withstand a third

2006-08-06 Woods Hole Research Center – Senior scientist challenges Independent’s article

2006-08-22 The future of the Amazon – a week in Manaus

2006-10-23 – Amazon conservation efforts must come soon
to save world’s largest rainforest says leading scientist

2006-11-15 Recuperation of the Amazon forest must be immediate

2006-12-05 Green Clippings – Brazil announces massive rainforest reserve

2006-12-29 Intl Herald-Tribune – Global warming could transform Amazon into savannah in 100 years, Brazil researchers say

2006-12-29 Washington Post – Researchers: Warming may change Amazon

2006-12-30 – Global warming may destroy Amazon rainforest

2006-12-30 CTV – Global warming may change Amazon: researchers

2006-12-30 AP – Global warming will likely destroy the Amazon

2006-12-31 The Sydney Morning Herald – Drying Amazon burning – the Amazon feedback loop

2007 Woods Hole Research Center – Amazon Ecological Program

2007 AOL video – Global Warming – What you need to know – Amazon tipping

2007-01-02 Softpedia – Amazon rainforest will turn into a savannah in 100 years due to global warming

2007-02-27 CNN, Anderson Cooper 360 – Hope and despair for Amazon rainforest’s future

2007-02-07 MWC – Da Silva blame rich for global warming while defending Brazil

x2007-03-20 Center for Global Development – On Global Warming and Ethanol: Good use of World Bank presidency bully pulpit, Mr. Wolfowitz!

2007-03-23 BBC News – Amazon “faces more deadly droughts”

2007-03-27 Laramie, WY – Global warming predicted to create novel climates

2007-04 Planet Earth – Amazon: the beginning of the end?

2007-04-06 Fox News – Global warming is threat to Great Barrier Reef, Amazon rainforests and Mexican deserts,2933,264589,00.html

2007-05-10 – Amazon becoming savannah

2007-05-14 The Independent – Deforestation – a hidden cause of global warming

2007 05-22 Amazon facts

2007-06-27 Science Line – A dry horizon for the Amazon

2007-07-31 New York Times – Brazil, alarmed, reconsiders policy on climate change

2007-08-13 Associated Press – Brazil says Amazon deforestation is down

2007-08-18 Global Warming Watch – Amazon deforestation drops 25%, Brazil says

2007-09-21 Scientific Blogging – Global warming puzzle: Amazon rainforest showed better growth during drought

x2007-09-22 The Strata-Sphere – more skepticism, denial and jeering

2007-09-23 Associated Content – Amazon drought and how forest reacts

2007-09-26 Science Daily – Amazon forest shows unexpected resiliency during drought

2007-10 Nature Conservancy mag – Soyfields invade Amazon rainforest

2007-10-06 Privatization of Amazon and IIRSA

2007-10-16 The Global Warming Archive – Amazon burns for biofuels

2007-10-17 How not to solve global warming – NAFTA for the Amazon

2007-10-17 Reuters – Amazon loggers hold Greenpeace activists captive

2007-10-22 Free Republic – Amazon fires among worst ever

x2007-10-24 Uncommon Descent (Intelligent Design) – Global warming puzzle – Amazon getting greener

2007-10-30 Malaria no longer eradicated thanks to global warming

2007-11-05 NPR – Amazon fire wars exacerbate global warming

2007-11-06 NPR – Fire begets fire, and the Brush Land Scenario

2007-11-29 Telegraph, UK – Amazon rainforest “could resist climate change if…”

2007-11-30 Earth Talk Env. News – Climate change and the amazing Amazon rainforest

2007-11-30 – Options for saving the Amazon in the face of climate change

2007-12 Biofuels threaten to accelerate global warming

2007-12-06 – Global warming accelerates the destruction of the Amazon

2007-12-06 Washington Post – WWF: Global warming will destroy 60% of Amazon by 2030

2007-12-07 China’s People’s Daily Online – Global warming will destroy Amazon

2007-12-07 Amazon rainforest disappearing faster than previously believed

2007-12-08 eNews – Tropical forests must be protected, says Indonesian minister

2007-12-11 999 Today – Climate change speeds up Amazon’s destruction

2007-12-13 All American Patriot – Scientists fear Amazon rainforest may face early destruction

2007-12-17 Global Warming Information – Amazon at risk – action needed now

2008 – Amazon rainforest loss

2008 World ecological problems: Amazon rainforest

2008-01 Hydrogen NOW! – Runaway methane global warning – the greatest threat

2008-01-02 Rio De Janeiro, Brazil – Researchers say that warming may change Amazon

2008-01-03 USA Today – WWF – Global warming to destroy 60% of Amazon by 2030

2008-01-10 What country is most responsible for the destruction of the Amazon rainforest?

2008-01-16 Reuters – Amazon deforestation seen surging

2008-01-17 ENN – Amazon deforestation seen surging in 2008, partly due to surge in global biofuel demand

2008-01-18 Planet Ark – Amazon deforestation surges again first time in 4 years

2008-01-18 Orange County Register – Ancient Amazon trees redefines Amazon as carbon sink

2008-01-20 Destruction of Amazon rainforest accelerates

2008-01-21 NZ Herald – Amazon rainforest destruction quickens

2008-01-24 – Amazon deforestation jumps in the second half of 2007

2008-01-24 Brazil says Amazon rainforest destruction soars again

2008-01-25 TIME/CNN – The Amazon gets less and less green,8599,1707121,00.html

2007-01-25 – 7000 sq km of Amazon destroyed in late 2007 – Greenpeace

2008-01-26 Eco-Worldly – Amazon rainforest vanishing faster – Brazil drafts emergency plan

2008-01-27 – How much would it cost to end Amazon deforestation?

2008-02 – Amazon – half of the remain forest could soon disappear

2008-02 Amazon rainforest videos

2008-02 The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming – Rising CO2 levels disrupt rainforest growth patterns

x2008-02 Michael Crichton on Bjorn Lomborg’s Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming

2008-02 SAGE – Global warming and global ecosystems

2008-02 The Weather Channel – The Amazon remains a mystery, but for how long?

2008-02-03 The Hindu – Scientists urgently seek answers for Amazon puzzle

2008-02-03 USA Today – Scientists puzzle over Amazon’s role in warming world

2008-02-04 MSNBC – Amazon forest still a global warming mystery: Scientists working to determine if it is a net carbon emitter or sink

2008-02-04 Reuters – Tipping points seen for Greenland ice and the Amazon

2008-02-04 The Times of India – Amazon research raises questions

2008-02-05 AP – Forecast Earth – solutions urgently sought (part 2 of 3),

2008-02-05 – New uakari monkey discovered in Amazon

2008-02-05 – Overfishing may hurt Amazon forest trees

2008-02-06 – France blocks controversial rainforest goldmine in French Guyana

2008-02-06 – Climate may experience sudden changes within years

2008-02-07 Al Jazeera English – Lula blames rich for global warming while defending Brazil

2008-02-07 – First rainforest-for-carbon-credits deal becomes a reality

2008-02-08 – Biofuels are worsening global warming

2008-02-09 Yahoo! News – Converting land for biofuel worsens global warming

2008-02-07 YouTube – Ecoagents reversing global warming, saving Amazon rainforest

2008-02-08 Earth Times – Biofuels may promote, not slow, global warming,biofuels-may-promote-not-slow-global-warming-report–feature.html

2008-02-08 eNews – Study shows biofuel farms accelerates global warming

x2008-02-11 – Let Brazilians sort out the problems of the Amazon (Is this like “Let the fox guard the hen house”?)

2008-02-11 CNN – All About: forests and carbon trading

Anthony Marr, founder
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)


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