Guides & Case Studies

Analyzing and interpreting spatial information.

Amazonian Rainforest

Possible dieback in 21st century

The tropical forests of the Amazon Basin are at risk not only from climate change, but also from interactions between deforestation and alterations in fire regimes. Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon closely follows road construction due to the inaccessibility and remoteness of Amazon forests. Associated with deforestation is the human use of fire to clear or maintain pastures for crop production or grazing, with these fires frequently 'escaping' into pristine, non-fire adapted forests. The interactions between climate change, fire and deforestation are expected to provide a positive feedback that may increase the rate, and influence the spatial pattern, of Amazon forest dieback. The outcome of these processes on changes in Amazon forest cover and biomass were recently modeled using a dynamic global vegetation model (DGVM) to investigate the individual and combined effects of climate change, fire, and deforestation.

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