Ecological tipping points could occur much sooner than expected, study finds

Jonathan Watts in The Guardian:

Ecological collapse is likely to start sooner than previously believed, according to a new study that models how tipping points can amplify and accelerate one another.

Based on these findings, the authors warn that more than a fifth of ecosystems worldwide, including the Amazon rainforest, are at risk of a catastrophic breakdown within a human lifetime.

“It could happen very soon,” said Prof Simon Willcock of Rothamsted Research, who co-led the study. “We could realistically be the last generation to see the Amazon.”

The research, which was published on Thursday in Nature Sustainability, is likely to generate a heated debate.

More here.