A research carried out at Bangor University suggest that the Amazon Rainforest could be gone in about 49 years and the coral reefs could be bleached in the next 15 years. The researchers analysed the changes of 25 marine, 13 freshwater and four land ecosystems to find out how long it would take for them to reach a critical point. Dr Simon Willcock, a joint lead author on the study, from Bangor University's School of Natural Sciences, said that the changes represent a threat to human life.
The researches have said that once a 'tipping point' is triggered, large ecosystems could collapse much faster. The study reveals that humanity needs to prepare for changes far sooner than expected as the rapid changes to the world's largest and most iconic ecosystems would impact the benefits which they provide us with, including everything from food and materials to the oxygen and water. Furthermore, according to the study, the larger ecosystems may take longer to collapse, however, their deterioration is much quicker than expected.
As per the research, John Dearing, a professor of physical geography at Southampton University, who led the research, said: "We intuitively knew that big systems would collapse more slowly than small ones - due to the time it takes for impacts to diffuse across large distances. But what was unexpected was the finding that big systems collapse much faster than you might expect - even the largest on Earth only taking possibly a few decades”.
Dr Gregory Cooper, another lead researcher, said that the world needs to do more the conserve the biodiversity. The research also said that humans need to prepare for changes in the ecosystem as they are likely to collapse over relatively short 'human timescales' of years and decades. The research is also another reason to halt the environmental damage that is pushing ecosystems to their limits.
The research read, “The unravelling effects should add to concerns about the effects of fires on the long-term resilience of the Amazon to climate change, or the rapid spread of recent bush fires in Australia caused by existing fires igniting further fires”.