17 Oct 2021

2085: The rainforest lost forever #OurClimateFutures

This video is part of Our Climate Futures – a project which takes real science to forecast what impacts and changes humanity may face as the climate crisis unfolds. This is not a news story. At least not yet.

The year is 2085 and the world has long missed its climate targets. Temperatures have risen so that a major ‘tipping point’ has been passed, with the once lush forests of the Amazon being lost forever.

It is one of the most feared aspects of the climate emergency, that there are certain ‘tipping points’ of change which nature cannot recover from.

One of these is known as ‘forest dieback’. Deforestation could upset the delicate scales of a forest’s resilience and become so unbalanced that the remaining forest is rapidly lost.

Experts caution that tipping points, by their very abrupt nature, are hard to predict. But the UN’s climate body, the IPCC, said in its latest report that forest dieback “cannot be ruled out”.

Scientists are clear that increasing the concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in higher global temperature, make these tipping points more likely.

The Amazon is threatened both by industrial deforestation and by climate change itself. Here we imagined what the end of the century, in a rapidly heating world  that’s missed its climate targets, could mean for one of the world’s most important habitats.

Watch the video above to hear from experts on the science behind the story. Or find out more about Our Climate Futures here.