Researchers emphasize the quick and dramatic changes occurring in the Amazon as a result of growing human activities in two distinct reviews.
They examine what is known about the drivers and consequences of the region's continuous deforestation and landscape degradation, as well as what needs to be done to avoid the worst results.
The Amazon rainforest is one of the most important yet endangered main ecosystems on the planet. It supports almost one-third of all known species and provides critical global ecosystem services that help regulate the planet's carbon and water cycles.However, modern agricultural and industrial activities, as well as broader anthropogenic climate change, are deteriorating Amazonian habitats at an unprecedented rate.
Teetering on the brink of irreversible change, continuous forest loss threatens to drive the Amazon above a crucial threshold, with far-reaching consequences for the entire Earth system.
In one Review, James Albert and colleagues summarize key findings from the 2021 Science Panel for the Amazon (SPA) Assessment Report, demonstrating how human activities such as regional deforestation are changing Amazonian ecosystems hundreds to thousands of times faster than any naturally occurring climatic or geological phenomenon has in the past - far too quickly for Amazonian species, peoples, and ecosystems to adapt.