Saturday, November 12, 2011
GEO #004 - The Great Amazon Desert in the making
Those who have been reading my writing over the years will recall my deep concern over the horrendous Amazonian drought of 2005 (D-2005), which was predicted by climate scientists in the preceding years.
This "Drought of The Century" turned the "Lung of the Earth", which normally served as a CARBON SINK by ABSORBING upwards of 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere every year into a CARBON SOURCE, EXHALING 5 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere instead - due to the drying, dying and rotting of entire local forests, and those deliberately slashed and burned for more temporary cattle ranches and soy plantations to satisfy America's boundless demands for more and more beef and ethanol.
To put this in perspective, the entire United States emits some 5.5 billion tons of CO2 last year. With the rising Global Average Temperature and falling Global Relative Humidity,
and the continued coming and going of El Nino, itself exerting a warming and drying influence, I predicted, and continue to predict, that there would/will be more droughts to come, each one worse than the one before.
Specific to the drought to follow D-2005, I wrote that it would come in 5-7 years' time, i.e. in 2010, 2011 and/or 2012, and that this one would out-dry its predecessor by more than 50%. As it happened, this did come to pass - in the form of Drought 2010 (D-2010), which outdid D-2005 in every way - area, severity, and exhaling 8 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere instead of D-2005's 5 billion tons; i.e. D-2010 = 1.6X D-2005.
Next to Arctic sea ice, the tropical rainforest is the second of planet Earth's 9 major TIPPING ELEMENTS. In my humble opinion they have both gone past their TIPPING POINTS. And when they fall together, they will mutually reinforce their destructive influences, and drag the other seven tipping elements down like dominoes. When all nine have tipped, it is game over (see my future blog-entry on this subject).
While the Arctic sea ice melt down will unleash the METHANE TIME BOMB, Doomsday Machine, the massive CO2-outpouring from the drying Amazon will add hugely to global warming and warm up the Arctic even faster. In combination with Arctic heating and ocean warming speeding up the dessication of the Amazon, causing more and more catastrophic droughts, this constitutes yet another climatic FEEDBACK LOOP that makes accurate computer modelling difficult if not impossible, but one thing is for certain: Where the 9 tipping elements are concerned, it is 2 down and 7 to go.
In the future, those who are now reading this blog will recall my present projection that there will descend upon the Amazon a series of mega-droughts which, left unchecked, will replace the Great Amazonian rainforest with the Great Amazonian Savannah, and not long thereafter, the Great Amazonian Desert.
Considering that the Amazon Rainforest contains one-third of all Earth's 2 million known species, for it to become a desert is to condemn all 700,000+ known Amazonian species to extinction, not least of all the magnificent Jaguar. To call this a violation of Animal Rights, or a crime against Nature, or a rape of Mother Earth, are all understatements of the century, individually or combined.
The frequency of these ever worsening droughts will be a combination between the alternating of El Nino and La Nina, and the warming of the Western Atlantic Ocean. It was the drastic warming of the Atlantic that brought D-2010, not El Nino as in 2005.
The next drought as of now will likely be caused by a combination of both ocean warming and El Nino. El Nino usually recurs every 5-7 years. It caused D-2005, and 7 years on will be 2012. If so, D-2012 would be a monster drought like we have never seen, like the Earth itself has never seen, because the tropical rainforest has been the most stable ecosystem on the planet, and has continuously thrived for millions of years. For the Amazon to become a desert is truly a tragedy of cosmic proportions.
This may take a century, but it will happen, unless we change course NOW!
Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)