If tropical forest's average surface temperature warms 4C above current levels -- widely considered a worst-case scenario -- "we're predicting possible total leaf death," he said. The new research suggests that leaf death could become a new factor in the predicted "tipping point" whereby tropical forests transition due to climate change and deforestation into savannah-like landscapes. Increased tree deathThere remain uncertainties as to how high leaf temperatures might impact the forest as a whole, the scientists cautioned. Total leaf death might not necessarily mean total tree death. In the Amazon, where temperatures are higher than in other tropical forests, the rate at which trees are dying has increased in recent decades.
Mar 21 2023