even under the most optimistic climate change scenarios destruction of much of the forest is irreversible.
a rise of 2% above pre-industrial levels (widely considered the best-case scenario and the target for ambitious international plans to curb emissions) would see 20-40% of the Amazon die within a 100 years
3% rise would see 75% destroyed by drought
4% rise would kill 85%.
"Ecologically it would be a catastrophe and it would be taking a huge chance with our own climate. The tropics are drivers of the world's weather systems." Peter Cox, professor of climate system dynamics at the University of Exeter
It would change a significant carbon sink into a source.
paper submitted to "Nature Geoscience" and quoted in the Age Friday 13 Marh 2009