"In particular, areas of south and western Amazonia have been shown to be affected severely by increasing rainfall variability in the past decade, suggesting that this region may be witnessing the first signs of potential large-scale degradation of Amazonian rainforest from climate change."

The results add to the growing body of evidence that the Amazon may be vulnerable to a "tipping point" where the ecosystem could shift from closed-canopy rainforest to more open woodlands and savannas should current warming and deforestation trends continue. Other researchers have warned about the dangers of interacting threats to the Amazon, which could drive a feedback loop leading to increased forest conversion, fire, and drought in the region.[emphasis mine]
Spatial extent and severity of the 2005 Amazonian drought based on forest canopy water stress (measured by seasonal [JAS] standardized anomaly of QSCAT backscatter data). Courtesy of Saatchi et al 2012.

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Thanks Ruth - I will follow the link and read more on this topic.




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