The ability of the Amazon rainforest to recover from devastating droughts and wildfires has been declining over the past two decades, driving the crucial ecosystem to what authors of a study published Monday called a \u0022critical transformation\u0022 with \u0022profound\u0022 consequences.\r\n\r\nThe research, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, revealed that the world\u0026#039;s largest rainforest \u0022has been losing resilience since the early 2000s, risking dieback with profound implications for biodiversity, carbon storage, and climate change at a global scale\u0022 as rainforest irreversibly transforms to savanna.\r\n\r\nSatellite imagery analyzed by the study\u0026#039;s researchers revealed that over three-quarters of the Amazon is losing resilience. Chris Boulton, a climate scientist at the University of Exeter and a co-author of the report, told Inside Climate News that resilience is defined as \u0022the ability of the Amazon rainforest to restore itself back to a stable state.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAccording to the site:\r\n\r\n\r\nThe study adds to a mounting pile of research projecting that the Amazon will reach a point when it rapidly converts into a different, drier ecosystem, although the timing of this \u0022tipping point\u0022 remains uncertain and whether it will encompass the entire rainforest is also debated. The authors of the new study have said the change could come within decades. They were reluctant to be more specific, but said the tipping point could be sooner even than current models suggest.\r\n\r\n\r\n\u0022The core idea is, if the system is heading toward a tipping point, where by definition it\u0026#039;s getting less stable, this means that before that happens, it gets slower recovering from all these perturbations, like the drought events that are happening year to year,\u0022 said Tim Lenton, another University of Exeter climate scientist and study co-author.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u0022If it gets to that tipping point and we commit to losing the Amazon rainforest, then we get significant feedback to global climate change,\u0022 he continued. \u0022We\u0026#039;d lose about 90 billion tons of carbon dioxide, mostly from the trees and some from the soil, and that\u0026#039;s several years of emissions.\u0022\r\n\r\nLenton added that such a development would have \u0022knock-on effects elsewhere in the world.\u0022\r\n\r\nThe new study notes that \u0022deforestation and climate change, via increasing dry-season length and drought frequency, may already have pushed the Amazon close to a critical threshold of rainforest dieback.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022Other factors, including rising atmospheric temperatures in response to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, may additionally have negative effects on Amazon resilience,\u0022 the publication adds.\r\n\r\nAccording to The Guardian, \u0022areas closer to human destruction of the forest also became more unstable. Trees are crucial in producing rain, so felling them to clear land for beef and soy production creates a vicious circle of drier conditions and more tree loss.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe good news, say researchers, is that the Amazon\u0026#039;s tipping point has not yet been reached.\r\n\r\n\u0022So there\u0026#039;s hope,\u0022 said Lenton, who added that the new study\u0026#039;s findings should encourage \u0022efforts to reverse deforestation and degradation of the Amazon to give it back some resilience against ongoing climate change.\u0022\r\n\r\nUnder right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro—the self-proclaimed \u0022Captain Chainsaw\u0022—deforestation in the country containing approximately 60% of the Amazon rainforest has reached its highest levels in more than a decade.\r\n\r\n\u0022We have a narrow window of opportunity to take urgent action.\u0022\r\n\r\nThe Brazilian Amazon ecosystem, as well as the nearly million Indigenous people from over 300 tribes who live there, are under increasing threat from development including logging, mining, expansion of agricultural activity, and the construction of a major highway and dam.\r\n\r\nWhile the crisis is most pronounced in Brazil, it is also occurring in other Amazon nations and territories including Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Suriname, and French Guiana.\r\n\r\nChris Jones, a climate researcher at the Met Office Hadley Centre in Britain who was not involved in the new study, told The Guardian that \u0022this research adds compelling evidence that climate change is a risk now and that these severe and irreversible impacts could become a reality.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022We have a narrow window of opportunity to take urgent action,\u0022 he stressed.