Chickens, pigs and the Amazon tipping point

terrastendo

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Our climate is subject to many potential tipping points, where a small change in human activity can lead to abrupt and significant changes in earth systems, with catastrophic and irreversible impacts. Feedback mechanisms that form part of the process could lead to runaway climate change over which we will have little or no control.

Possible tipping points include [1]:

  • reduction in area and volume of Arctic sea ice;
  • disintegration of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets;
  • thawing permafrost (frozen soil) releasing methane and carbon dioxide;
  • melting sub-sea hydrates also releasing methane;
  • dieback of the Amazon rainforest.

This post considers the Amazon rainforest.

Although clearing for cattle pastures is the main driver of Amazon deforestation, feed production for the beef, poultry, pig meat and other sectors is also a critical factor.

A new perspective based on potential consequences

The comparative emissions intensity of various food products is often considered when reviewing their climate…

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