The Amazon may be transformed into savanna

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BRASILIA (AFP)
the 28-07-2004

The Amazon rainforest can turn into savannah area by 50 100 years due to climate warming and fires that destroy the forest area in Brazil, warned Tuesday a Brazilian scientist.

"Almost all the scenarios allow for a" savanization "(from Amazonia) between now and 50 to 100 years," said Carlos Nobre, researcher at the National Institute of Space Investigations (INPE), at the III Conference of "Large-scale project on the biosphere and atmosphere of the Amazon" which opened Tuesday in Brasilia.

"In the worst case, the forest loses some 60% of its surface; in the best, everything continues as now; in the case of an intermediate scenario, 20% of its surface disappears, "he said.

"Even without deforestation, global warming could cause" savanness "of 20% to 30%" of the Amazon, Nobre reported.

According to Brazilian official sources, 70 years 2002 end, fires destroyed more than 630.000 2 million km3,68 of km2 account that the Amazon forest in the country (70% of the Amazon forest).

The INPE researcher considers that deforestation, caused by the advancement of soybean cultivation and livestock breeding, already has a climatic impact, both locally and in more distant areas, since it causes a decrease rains and warming of the climate ".

Nobre believes that this process can be reversed through the creation of a large body to coordinate efforts in favor of the Amazon. This implies a reorientation of resources, since currently "only 3% of research revenues go to the Amazon," Nobre said.

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