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News: March 2020

Huge ecosystems could collapse in less than 50 years – new study

We know that ecosystems under stress can reach a point where they rapidly collapse into something very different. The clear water of a pristine lake can turn algae-green in a matter of months. In hot summers, a colourful coral reef can soon become bleached and virtually barren. And if a tropical forest has its canopy significantly reduced by deforestation, the loss of humidity can cause a shift to savanna grassland with few trees.

This article by John Dearing, Professor of Physical Geography, University of SouthamptonGreg Cooper, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Development, Environment and Policy, SOAS, University of London, and Simon Willcock, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Geography, Bangor University is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Publication date: 11 March 2020

The Amazon rainforest could be gone within a lifetime

Large ecosystems, such as the Amazon rainforest, will collapse and disappear alarmingly quickly, once a crucial tipping point is reached, according to calculations based on real-world data.

Writing in Nature Comms (10.1038/s41467-020-15029-x), researchers from Bangor University, Southampton University and The School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London, reveal the speed at which ecosystems of different sizes will disappear, once they have reached a point beyond which they collapse – transforming into an alternative ecosystem.

Publication date: 10 March 2020

Tropical forests’ carbon sink is already rapidly weakening

Dr Simon Willcock, a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Geography at Bangor University’s School of Natural Sciences is an expert in tropical landscapes and the benefits people receive from them. He contributed to a major piece of research, published today. He collected and provided data from Tanzanian rainforests, as well as collaborating with the manuscript preparation.

Publication date: 4 March 2020