RAINFOREST more or less?

Jacob Valiyev

[ Summary ]

  • Will climate change effect rain-forests? The rich biodiversity of these forests makes it practically impossible to get a distinct answer.
  • A track of scientists at CSIRO have turned to a class of computer models designed to mimic the human brain.
  • Multiple doctors have investigated the effects of climate change in rain-forests by developing a model named FANN (Forest Artificial Neural Network).
  • This computer model has the power to calculate how environmental conditions (climate, geology and terrain) can alter in a decade.
  • The scenarios have showed that a warming of 1C, combined with changes in rainfall from a 10% drop to a 20%, could occur.
  • This model shows that rain-forests are very sensitive to the small amounts of climate change to occur in the future.
  • While most rain-forest areas are immune to the slight rise in temperature, highland rain forest was predicted to shrink by 50% with almost a 1C warming.
  • Animals in the rain forests face the prospect of further habitat loss if warming or increased rainfall eventuates.
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This article clearly states that global warming will impact the rain forests eventually, increasing the temperature and precipitation, effecting all living things there.

  • The scenarios used by the scientist have shown an increase of 1C, combined with a rainfall of 10% drop to a 20% rise
  • The pattern falls for 15 forest types, and eventually they will change under the climates likely to be experienced. Some forests will expand ranges, but overall, forests will experience less suitable climates.
  • Some rain forests will have increasing rainfall, but that decreased rainfall would help those forests dominated by eucalyptus. For example, a 10% decrease of rainfall would reduce the total areas suitable for rain forests from 56% to 44%.
  • The area supports 566 species of land vertebrates, 12% of which occur nowhere else.
  • Scientist are finding that the trees in the rainforest are now giving out more carbon dioxide than they take up. Rainforests used absorb a lot of the carbon dioxide, and now this is not necessarily the case for all rainforests.
  • Rainforest deforestation is one of the important contributors to global warming. There are 2 major effects of deforestation on global warming: 1) the "slash and burn" technique used to clear the forest, releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and 2) destruction of living trees reduces the amount of photosynthesis, a process that removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and stores it in the plants as carbon.
  • But scientists are noticing something odd in the Amazon rainforest - the hydrological engine is beginning to fail. Two major factors are at play. El Nino and Deforestation.
  • Models suggest that by the year 2050, temperatures in the Amazon will increase by 2–3°C. At the same time, a decrease in rainfall during dry months will lead to widespread drying.


Climate change in the Amazon. (n.d.). Retrieved June 06, 2016, from http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/where_we_work/amazon/amazon_threats/climate_change_amazon/

Past Question. (n.d.). Retrieved June 06, 2016, from https://www.arm.gov/education/studyhall/ask/past_question.php?id=560

Rain Forest Plants Race to Outrun Global Warming. (n.d.). Retrieved June 06, 2016, from http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/09/130915-climate-change-amazon-rain-forest-science/

My Point Of View

I do believe that global warming has an effect on the rain forests around the world.

Perhaps we are not affecting it tremendously, but we are increasing the speed significantly.

Us humans are destructive and selfish, and causing deforestation in the rain forests will create some sort of global warming.

"Human activity has removed more than one-tenth of trees and plants from the Amazon rainforest since the 1960s. Deforestation of the Amazon accounted for 1.5 per cent of the increase in carbon dioxide levels seen since the mid-nineteenth century."

More than half of the Amazon rainforest could be lost or severely damaged as early as 2030 if current trends in deforestation, droughts, forest fires and global greenhouse gas emissions continue. The severe 2005 and 2010 Amazon droughts show how bad things could become.

We do have an impact on where the world is going. Perhaps it is natural for the world to change and adapt, but we are modifying it too much. The world does change, and climates, temperatures, etc. will change no matter what. But this abnormality is caused by us homo sapiens.

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Amazon and climate change. (n.d.). Retrieved June 06, 2016, from http://www.wwf.org.uk/where_we_work/south_america/amazon/amazon_and_climate_change.cfm

Amazon rainforest losses impact on climate change, study shows. (n.d.). Retrieved June 06, 2016, from http://phys.org/news/2015-04-amazon-rainforest-losses-impact-climate.html

Rainforest Alliance. (n.d.). Retrieved June 06, 2016, from http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/work/climate