Hali D. Hiatt
DESTROYING A LIFE
In the many years since the beginnings of the Amazonian deforestation, humans have ignored the problem facing them, that one day they will wake up and realize that they have destroyed all of their natural rainforest and medicinal plants; therefore ruining the chance of Earth’s survival. For what? For the beauty of exotic wood in their homes, or a romantic fire in their hearth.
Throughout the next several years, deforestation could pump 200 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere.
Natural resources can only go so far without being replenished, and destroying rainforest without replanting is a great way to expend that resource. As the ones who are killing the planet they need to take care of it, and not burn it down to plant crops or graze cattle where they aren’t needed. As one of the largest rainforests on the planet, the Amazon needs to be conserved and protected. It is one of the main producers of oxygen and reducers of carbon, helping keep the balance of these elements . To keep
Earth healthy humanity needs to dramatically reduce the deforestation in the Amazon.
The Amazon rainforest stretches over 3.4 million square miles, 60% of which is in Brazil. It is home to millions of species that make up 10% of all of
Earth’s biodiversity, including forty thousand different plant species, three thousand freshwater fish species, and over three hundred and seventy reptile species. There are nearly four hundred billion trees across sixteen thousand species of tree in the rainforest. Over the last forty years, 20% of
DESTROYING A LIFE
the rainforest has been cleared for timber and to make room for farmland.
While those cutting trees for timber need to do so manually, farmers who want to expand their fields will often just burn the trees down. This technique is called Slash and Burn. Deforestation is always a problem because it removes trees able to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and recycle it into oxygen. Although the Amazon takes up only 5% of the planet’s land mass, it takes is and stores 10% of atmospheric carbon. When trees die or are cleared, it releases that carbon back into the atmosphere and stops giving oxygen.
This is a huge problem to the contribution of global warming and expending this amazing wonder at an alarming rate. “In the time it takes to read this, an area of Brazil's rain forest larger than 200 football fields will have been destroyed”(Wallace). Stopping the deforestation is nearly impossible, but slowing it down and regulating it will contribute towards the
Amazon’s survival. Now industrial-scale soybean producers are joining loggers and cattle ranchers in the deforestation, thus speeding up destruction and further fragmenting the rainforest. The fragmentation is so prominent in many areas, it can be seen from space. Because of the large gaps in the living vegetation, the ecosystem of the forest is being affected.
“the Amazon produces half its own rainfall through the moisture it releases into the atmosphere”(Wallace). Once enough of the trees