At the United Nations (UN) Climate Summit on Tuesday, efforts to slow deforestation got a major boost when dozens of countries, indigenous groups and companies pledged to halve destructive deforestation by 2020, and completely end losses by 2030.
The Amazon, which has already suffered years of deforestation, saw a 29 percent increase in destruction last year, according to final figures released Wednesday by the Brazilian government.
Researchers have recently discovered that over the last 150 years, the conversion of forests into cropland has actually resulted in a small amount of global cooling. These results underscore the overall complexity of the climate change issue.
Selective logging, partial destruction by burning, and fragmentation resulting from the development of pastures and plantations in the Amazon rainforest has resulted in an annual loss of 54 million tons of carbon, demonstrating how significant such practices are in terms of global warming.
Huge swaths of the Amazon basin may not have always been the bustling rainforests we see today. Researchers have found evidence that in a few hundred years, the land may have radically switched from a smattering of wide savannahs to the "timeless" rainforests of today.
According to the most recent study, Brazilian Amazon deforestation has slowed, and scientists believe that using positive incentives may be the key to this progress.
Reducing deforestation rates in the tropics could significantly cut the world's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, a new study suggests.
Human impact on the Amazon rainforest has been grossly underestimated, according to an international team of researchers.
Should the Amazon continue to undergo current rates of deforestation designed to make room for large-scale expansion of agriculture, everyone will suffer – including the farmers.