In a study led by Oxford's Environmental Change Institute, Professor Yadvinder Malhi calls for direct intervention to protect the Amazon rainforests. The study concludes that, while climate change is unlikely to transform the rainforests into a dry 'savannah', Amazonia is likely to shift towards a more seasonally dry, (monsoonal) climate.
Unfortunately, this will make the rainforests highly vulnerable, particularly during times of seasonal drought. The study warns that these areas will become tinderboxes if deforestation, logging and heavy fire use is not controlled.
"Exploring the likelihood and mechanism of a climate-change induced dieback of the Amazon rainforest" by Yadvinder Malhi et al was published in the Early Edition of PNAS on Monday 9 February 2009.