The Amazon rainforest has been one of the most important environmental landscapes in the world for millennia.
But in recent years, a growing number of researchers have begun to question its sustainability.
The Amazon, they argue, is changing in ways that are detrimental to human health, biodiversity and the planet’s ecosystems.
“I think we’re seeing the end of the forest as we know it,” says Scott Dyer, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin who studies deforestation in the Amazon and was part of a group of scientists that found that the Amazon’s forests are being rapidly cleared and destroyed.
“It’s changing rapidly.”
Amazon deforestation is a global problem that affects many different ecosystems, but its effects are most severe in Brazil, where more than 90 percent of the Amazon is currently logged.
Brazil, with a population of 1.4 billion, has long been a world leader in clearing the forest, which has helped feed the burgeoning middle class.
But now, it’s changing as well.
In Brazil, which produces almost half of the world’s fruits and vegetables, Brazil’s government is reducing the forests’ area, shrinking the forests that can hold more than 40 percent of Brazil’s crops, and reducing their productivity.
But some scientists worry that deforestation will continue, particularly in the state of Pará, where most of the deforestation occurs.
The Brazilian government has been trying to stem the trend, but critics say it’s only getting worse.
In a recent report, the World Resources Institute (WRI), a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., said the state was already losing an average of 1 million hectares of forest per year.
That’s about the size of Pennsylvania.
“What is happening is we’re moving toward a tipping point,” says Paul Ehrlich, the WRI’s executive director.
“If you take away the forest in a single area, that area is going to be able to support less food production.”
The Amazon has been under pressure for decades to curb deforestation.
In the 1990s, Brazil initiated a program to protect the Amazon from timber logging.
It was supposed to last for 20 years.
But that program was cancelled and the program was replaced with a new one that was supposed in 2021.
It also called for the planting of native species.
But as Brazil’s population increased, the forests were being harvested faster than they could be planted.
The result was a massive influx of timber and, in some cases, a devastating decline in the biodiversity of the forests.
And deforestation is becoming a bigger problem in Brazil than in any other country.
According to the WWF report, Brazil is currently the largest producer of palm oil in the Americas.
But the company has been criticized for its lack of sustainability and deforestation practices.
In 2015, Brazil filed a lawsuit against a number of companies that were harvesting palm oil illegally in the country.
The lawsuit claims the companies, including ConocoPhillips, BP, and Shell, “intentionally exploited the Amazon” and “ignored the fact that their plantations were located in a vulnerable region where natural disasters were occurring and that they were being destroyed.”
A recent poll by the Brazilian government found that 80 percent of respondents said they were concerned about the impact of deforestation on the Amazon.
“There’s been a lot of debate about whether deforestation is an issue,” says Ehrbert.
“But the fact is we’ve seen deforestation in Brazil for decades.”
For the last two years, Ehrich has been working with a team of researchers in Brazil to try and identify which of the major companies that have been logging in the rainforest are destroying the forest.
They’ve identified more than 50 companies and have been working closely with local governments to ensure they don’t destroy more than 10 percent of their rainforest each year.
“We’re very close to being able to identify and quantify the deforestation,” says the Wrix Center’s Ehrbach.
“In the meantime, we’re working on developing a tool that would allow people to look at the logging that they are doing in the region.”
It’s a process that takes time and resources.
“This is a very complex problem and the tools that we are using are still very rudimentary,” says Dyer.
“The tool that we’re using right now is not particularly advanced and it is not as powerful as we’d like it to be.
But we’re hoping to get a better understanding of what’s happening, what the consequences are, and how we can mitigate it.”
The Brazilian scientists are now developing a new tool called the “forest census” to help them monitor deforestation in their region.
It can track the deforestation in any specific forest, and it will show the amount of deforestation in each region.
Dyer is optimistic about its prospects, but warns that the tool’s current limitations may lead to some false positives.
“Right now, the tools we’re developing are not very sophisticated and they are not as sophisticated as we