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Amazon Rainforest Deforestation | Importance of Amazon Rainforest

Amazon Rainforest

Amazon Rainforest Deforestation | Importance of Amazon Rainforest
Amazon Rainforest

How Large is Amazon Rainforest?

The Amazon rainforest covers a large area. Most of it is located in the country of Brazil, around 60 percent of it. But it also covers a fair bit of Peru and Colombia as well as smaller parts of Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. There's around 2,100,000 square miles (5,500,000km2) of rainforest.


Amazon Rainforest Animals and Plants:

Amazon is the most bio-diverse forest in the world and it's said there are about 16,000 species of trees. If you were to count all the trees you might find there is something like 390 billion of them.

No one has actually done this of course, and that's a ballpark estimation. Also living in this place are an estimated 40,000 plant species, 2.5 million insect species, 1,294 bird species, 427 mammal species, 428 amphibian species, and 378 reptile species.


Amazon Rainforest Deforestation:

It's like nowhere else in the world, but it's also getting smaller because of human development. Over the years humans have been clearing parts of the forest for development purposes, and this is known as deforestation.

So much of it has gone that it can be seen from space. Most of the deforestation happens, so there are spaces of pasture for cattle. But space has been cleared for soy farming, drilling for minerals, damming, land claims, logging, and more.

Scientists are concerned about a tipping point, with some people saying that deforestation could lead to accelerated global warming. We are discussing more about deforestation in the next points ahead with rainforest importance.

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Importance of Amazon Rainforest in the Ecosystem:

Scientists were sometimes talking about something called "Evapotranspiration", which has been also described as "forest sweating". The forest sweats it brings the temperature down, but with fewer trees, there is less sweat and so the place heats up.

If we consider current global warming and on top of that less forest sweating then what we have as a result is a much hotter place? We say much, but a small temperature rise is a big rise because of the negative effects.

As one scientist wrote, "Increasing temperatures and drought are already shifting the plant composition of the Amazon, and many trees will perish as conditions breach the limits at which they can survive."

The animal population is also reduced, so the result for local populations is a disruption of their livelihoods. There is the fear that the tipping point will come if temperatures rise as much as 3°C to 4°C. Which could create a savannah-like environment for parts of the forest. This will destroy a lot of this biodiversity and will have devastating effects on anyone who lives in those areas.


Why is The Amazon Important to the World?

Amazon Rainforest Area
Amazon Rainforest Area

But it won't just affect local people. Experts say the more of the Amazon forest that disappears the less carbon. It soaks up and less oxygen is released into the atmosphere.

If all the trees and the plants were suddenly destroyed then billions of tons of carbon would be released, and we would be looking at a global catastrophe.

If some almighty conflagration were to set this forest on fire that would happen. But we must also think about what that smoke would do to the people in the vicinity and farther away.


How Does The Amazon Rainforest Affect Global Climate?

Air pollution would be so bad, it would be hard to breathe and make it dangerous to be outside. When the fires were raging this year, and everyone from celebs to leading news organizations; came out to say the lungs of the world were being destroyed, what followed were some other reports debunking this.

Talking to Forbes, one scientist said there has been a problem but that problem has been around a long time, while deforestation and fires are certainly big issues. That scientist said there has also been some amount of hysteria.

Forbes wrote, "Against the picture painted of an Amazon forest on the verge of disappearing, a full 80% remains standing. Half of the Amazon is protected against deforestation under federal law".

Some people acknowledge that a more serious problem could arise if global warming results in much bigger fires down the line. But right now most of the Amazon is intact and globally, we shouldn't have any huge problems. It's a different matter of course if you live in or near to a place that has burned to the ground.

Today we are trying to understand that what might happen if there were these extreme fires down the line. If the forest did burn as it has never burned before. Well, in 2019 The Atlantic wrote this, "The Amazon Is Not Earth's Lungs". It underlines that "Humans could burn every living thing on the planet and still not dent its oxygen supply."

Scientists tell us the Amazon absorbs as much oxygen as it produces. So it effectively produces zero oxygen. This article claims that it would be a tragedy if more of the forest burned. So much biodiversity was destroyed and communities ruined, but the world far from the Amazon would still be ok in terms of having air to breathe.

One scientist interviewed wrote, "Even the most foolhardy destruction of world forests could hardly dint our oxygen supply, though in other respects such short-sighted idiocy is an unspeakable tragedy."

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Myth about Global Warming:

One scientist was asked what would happen if we burned all the trees on Earth. He answered, "Virtually no change, generations of humans would live out their lives, breathing the air around them, probably struggling to find food, but not worried about their next breath."

Others have chimed in, saying we have millions of years' worth of oxygen on this planet and it isn't going anywhere. One scientist wrote, "Even if all organic matter on Earth were burned at once, less than 1% of the world's oxygen would be consumed." So, it seems the world will be able to breathe but still, deforestation impacts people in a way that threatens their lives or livelihoods.


Why Protect The Amazon Rainforest?

Right now most scientists agree that more needs to be done to protect the Amazon rainforest. We want to keep our diverse flora and fauna. We need to protect our forests and protect the communities that live in them. But we should also be sceptical according to many scientists when we talk about the world's oxygen just running out.

It was estimated that 906 thousand hectares of forest were lost due to these fires, which is a massive 9,060 km2 or 3,500 square miles. This has devastating effects on local indigenous communities and also other sides of the world suffer too.

Pollution is a killer, and so we don't want any more smoke from burning fires. We might hope that what happened this year will mean changes for the good shortly.



Do you agree with everything I have said in today's article? Can you add anything? Tell us in the comments. Also, share this article to your social media accounts to contribute to awareness of the protection of world Forests.


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