Day: March 13, 2022

Brazil: Amazon Rainforest Reaching Tipping Point, Researchers Say.

The Amazon contains between 90 and 140 billion metric tons of carbon – Getty Images

The Amazon rainforest is moving towards a “tipping point” where trees may die off en masse, say researchers.

A study suggests the world’s largest rainforest is losing its ability to bounce back from damage caused by droughts, fires and deforestation.

Large swathes could become sparsely forested savannah, which is much less efficient than tropical forest at sucking carbon dioxide from the air.

The giant forest traps carbon that would otherwise add to global warming.

But previous studies have shown that parts of the Amazon are now emitting more carbon dioxide than can be absorbed.

“The trees are losing health and could be approaching a tipping point – basically, a mass loss of trees,” said Dr Chris Boulton of the University of Exeter.

The findings, based on three decades of satellite data, show alarming trends in the “health” of the Amazon rainforest.

The more trees cut down, the less the forest can soak up emissions – Getty Images.

There are signs of a loss of resilience in more than 75% of the forest, with trees taking longer to recover from the effects of droughts largely driven by climate change as well as human impacts such as deforestation and fires.

A vicious cycle of damage could trigger “dieback”, the scientists said.

And while it’s not clear when that critical point might be reached, the implications for climate change, biodiversity and the local community would be “devastating”.

Once the process begins they predict it could be a matter of decades before a “significant chunk” of the Amazon is transformed into savannah – a vastly different ecosystem made up of a mixture of grassland and trees.

“The Amazon stores lots of carbon and all of that would be released into the atmosphere, which would then further contribute to increasing temperatures and have future effects on global mean temperatures,” Dr Boulton said, adding that stopping deforestation would go some way to addressing the problem.

Around a fifth of the rainforest has already been lost, compared to pre-industrial levels, they said.

The research was carried out by the University of Exeter, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Technical University of Munich.

“Deforestation and climate change are likely to be the main drivers of this decline,” said Prof Niklas Boers of PIK and the Technical University of Munich.

Commenting, Dr Bonnie Waring of the Grantham Institute – Climate Change and Environment, Imperial College London, said: “These latest findings are consistent with the accumulating evidence that the twin pressures of climate change and human exploitation of tropical forests are endangering the world’s largest rainforest, which is home to one out of every 10 species known to science.”

The findings, based on satellite data from 1991 to 2016, are published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Regards Mark

England: Meet the Adorable Deaf Cat Who Loves Bike Rides Around London.

 Sigrid rides in owner Travis’s bike basket (Picture: @sigirides/Caters News)

Norwegian forest cat Sigrid may be deaf, but it doesn’t stop her getting out and about.

In fact, the fluffy white moggy likes nothing more than going for a cycle – and you may even have spotted her traversing the streets of London in her owner’s handlebar basket.

Software engineer Travis Nelson, 46, takes Sigrid with him when he explores the city, with the four-year-old cat attracting plenty of attention from passers-by.

A typical journey for the pair will begin in Regent’s Park and end up in Jubilee Park, so Sigrid can see the sights.

Travis said: ‘This is fairly normal for us! Although we usually stop for more pets.

‘She definitely loves the bike rides. She often begs at the door to go out and gets excited when I start messing with my bike.

‘She’s always happy and inquisitive when we’re out.’

Travis first took Sigrid out on his bike when he was made redundant during the pandemic, looking to try something new with his ‘best friend’.

What started with training her to walk on a lead led to her being comfortable enough to relax in a basket, even wearing goggles to protect her eyes from wind.

Travis now shares photos and videos of their journeys together, during his time out from work spending up to four hours a day editing content and replying to Instagram messages.

Spot Jeremy Clarkson in the back, as well as Sigrid’s chic cycling goggles (Picture: @sigirides/Caters News)

Speaking to Ham and High, he said: ‘I usually describe us as best friends. We’re together all the time. Sigrid does mean a lot to me. It’s been a tough year and she’s been a big comfort. 

‘It’s a little odd now, almost every time we go riding we get recognised by someone. It feels like we have friends everywhere.’

Sigrid’s unique hobby has seen them attending the Pride Ride together, as well as their picture being shown on screens on the Moscow Metro.

It’s really more about the fun of it for the duo, however, and the adventurous cat has no problem making her intentions to head outside known to her owner.

Travis added: ‘She always seems to love going outside. She’ll stand at the door and whine.

‘She sees me messing with my bike and she starts running around getting excited, it’s her favourite thing to do.’

Travis and Sigrid’s usual route is through Regent’s Park, where passers-by often stop to pet the intrepid kitty (Picture: @sigirides/Caters News)

Love the picture of her in her little goggles – cool !

Regards Mark

USA: Camel kills two men at petting zoo in Tennessee.

Two men were killed in a camel attack at a petting zoo in Tennessee, officials say.

Law enforcement were called to Shirley Farms in Obion, Tennessee, after reports of a “loose” camel in the area.

When sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene on Thursday afternoon they found “two unconscious victims on the ground.”

Both men died of their injuries at the scene, said authorities.

Officials say that while deputies tried to remove one of the victims for medical treatment, the animal attacked an Obion Sheriff’s Office patrol car and charged at the deputies.

“It was at this time officers had to put the camel down for the safety of everyone on scene,” the  department said in a statement.

Authorities have identified the victims as Bobby Matheny, 42, of Ridgely and Tommy Gunn, 67, of Obion.

It is unclear what kind of camel was involved in the incident, which took place around 100 miles north of Memphis.

There was no immediate information on how the camel got loose on the farm.

Camel kills two men at petting zoo in Tennessee (

Regards Mark