Climate Tipping Point Essay Example
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Environment, Amazon, Rainfall, World, Ecology, Environmental Issues, Ecosystem, Climate
A tipping point refers to a change or shift that would consequently lead to larger or more significant changes. When it comes to climate and the environment, a tipping point specifically refers to a certain condition that marks an often irreversible change on climate and the environment. An example of a tipping point is the degradation of the Amazon rainforest.
The Amazon rainforest is a biologically diverse ecosystem hosting thousands of different species. Another unique aspect of the rainforest is that rainfall in the ecosystem contributes to the water cycle. Hence, the Amazon rainforest plays an important role in maintaining levels or frequencies of rainfall that contributes to the survival of plant and animal species. For this reason, the reduction of trees often through deforestation would disrupt the water cycle, thereby, limiting rainfall. As a result, a reduced amount of rainfall leads to drought.
Drought in the Amazon rainforest is a tipping point because this would transform the ecosystem into a savannah. Due to droughts in other global models, continued drought in the Amazon is a possibility. When this happens, the shift from a rainforest to a savannah would lead to the loss of more trees. Trees would not be able to survive in a dry environment. Furthermore, it is important to note when understanding drought in the Amazon rainforest as a tipping point is that this ecosystem contributes to rainfall in different parts of the world. Hence, drought and the loss of trees in the ecosystem would also lead to drought in other areas of the world relying on rainfall brought about by the Amazon rainforest. The impact of drought on the Amazon rainforest would be irreversible after reaching the tipping point. The dry environment in the Amazon and less rainfall would also lead to a lower global temperature all over the world.
Kauffman, Chad M. Climate Studies: Introduction to Climate Science. New York, NY: The American Meteorological Society, 2014.