The Amazon Rainforest

Decent Essays
The Amazon Rainforest covers approximately 2,650,000 square miles of land in South America, more than one third of the entire continent. It is full of natural resources, such as fruits, vegetables, pharmaceuticals derived from plants, oils used for perfumes and detergents, and woods. Comprised of the largest collection of living plant and animal species in the world, this rainforest is also home to hundreds of indigenous tribes, each with their own language, culture, and territory(USA TODAY, 2012). The Amazon has given the world so much, and in return we have destroyed more than 20 percent of this rainforest, by clearing the trees for logging operations, mining operations, farming, and much more. This not only threatens the lives and future …show more content…
The Amazon River, for which the Rainforest was named for, begins in the Peruvian Andes and expands over the northern half of South America. The river is approximately 4,080 miles long, and lies in Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Columbia, Venezuela, and the Guyanas. Almost thirty billion gallons of water travel to the Atlantic Ocean every minute (Blue Planet Biomes, 2003). True to its name, the rainforest receives about nine feet of rain per year. However, most of the rainforest’s water comes from the snowmelt high in the Peruvian Andes. From June to October, the water level can rise up to 45 feet. Due to foliage of the trees, about fifty percent of the rainfall and snowmelt returns to the …show more content…
However, researchers claim that the animals lost to date are just one-fifth of those doomed to die. According to scientists, deforestation has cleared so much land that 38 more species are likely to become extinct in coming years, including 10 mammals, 20 bird species and 8 amphibian species. Some species are killed off directly through the clearing of the forest, but many face a slower death sentence due to lower breeding rates and a higher competition for food. Robert Ewers, a science journalist, predicted future extinction rates, under the scenarios of “business as usual” to “strong reduction”, which would require deforestation to decrease by 80%. "For now, the problem is along the arc of deforestation in the south and east where there is a long history of forest loss. But that is going to move in the future. We expect most of the species there to go extinct, and we 'll pick up more extinction debt along the big, paved highways which are now cutting into the heart of the Amazon," Ewers told the Guardian from Belém, northern Brazil (The Guardian, 2012). Under the “business as usual”, in which forest clearing will not decrease, 55 species are expected to die out by 2050. Even if cattle ranchers and farmers comply with Brazilian environmental laws, nearly 38 species could still be

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    However the destruction of the rainforest is by far our greatest loss. Many of the tropical rainforest are located on or around the equator and cover about seven percent of the earth’s surface. The rainforest contain more than half of the world’s population of plants and animals. The rainforest contains many different types of plants where medicine is derived from. According to an article posted on the Rainforest Adventures website “A typical four square mile patch of rainforest contains as many as 1500 species of flowering plants” (About the Rainforest).…

    • 1432 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Forests are a global resource, so logging forests in one country can affects other countries. For example, since 1950, erosion due to deforestation has caused the loss of 1.4 billion acres of soil worldwide. Heavier flooding in India’s Ganges Valley has caused $1 billion a year in property damage and is blamed on the loss of large forested watersheds in other countries. Nepal, one of the most mountainous countries in the world, lost more than half its forest cover between 1950 and 1980. This cutting destabilizes soil, increasing the rate of landslides, amount of runoff, and sediment load in streams.…

    • 939 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Then after they were finished, they would go to a different area and use that so the land they already used can regenerate. So since the area that was used and cleared was small the soil won’t dry up and eventually the forest clearance will be temporary, which is different than now because it is permanent. The “now” slash and burn methods destroy huge chunks of land to be cleared away, and this technique estimated to be 50% of all rainforest destruction. The sad fact is that since its large areas the soil quickly becomes poor quality and very dried up. About 80% of the rainforests nutrients and vitamins come from the trees and plants, so about 20% of the nutrients and minerals are in the soil.…

    • 860 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Anthropogenic Causes

    • 1456 Words
    • 6 Pages

    This is because species of animals depend on each as food sources so any extinction that occurs within a diverse or constraint ecosystem will have a chain like effects. A recent article by U.S News estimated that 75% of all wildlife on earth will become extinct during this mass extinction. Leading causes of species extinction are habitat destruction and deforestation, overexploitation such as too much hunting and fishing, pollution to the environment in which endangered species reside. Not to mention, the spread of diseases and most importantly global warming. One example of this is the mass extinction of amphibians.…

    • 1456 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Saving Rainforests

    • 1662 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Also soil saturates waterways and disrupting the food chain. Not only does the rainforest play an important part in the erosion of soils. But the rainforest is known as the lungs of the earth.”With the forests gone, CO2 is no longer transformed through photosynthesis, and the crops that replace forests only absorb a fraction of CO2 compared to rainforests. Along with industrial pollution, rampant deforestation in South America and elsewhere has significantly increased the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere" (“The Vital Links between”). The forest absorbs most CO2 throughout the year.…

    • 1662 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    According to many studies, this impact is only increasing over time. Due to this deforestation, the forests cannot absorb as much of the carbon dioxide causing the temperature to escalate. This conflict causes a decrease in evapotranspiration, which decreases precipitation. Without a sizeable amount of moisture for precipitation, vegetation will become dry and useless to the environment. Scientists believe that is the deforestation persists at the current rate, the Amazon rainforest will be gone within 100 years.…

    • 751 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Amazon Rainforestation

    • 652 Words
    • 3 Pages

    A reason for it being the richness and diversity of the Amazon Rainforest. “The Amazon as a whole contributes over 20 percent of the earth's oxygen supply… The biodiversity of the Amazon basin is unparalleled, and scientists estimate that more than 50 percent of the world's remaining plant and animal species live in the rainforest. Thousands of anti-cancer agents have been developed from plants found in the Amazon, and hundreds of pharmaceutical companies are actively investigating rainforest plants for additional medical applications.” (Issitt). Though this quote proves points as to why Amazon Deforestation should continue, there are other reasons as to why it should not. Even though that some medical treatments have been found in the Amazon Rainforest, if we continue taking so much from it, the supplies needed for the treatments will eventually run out.…

    • 652 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The Amazon is the largest tropical forest in the world. It is 2.124 million sq miles. The Amazon basin covers eight countries and cattle ranching is ruining the forest. Find out how cattle ranchers are ruining the forest and how it can be changed, read this article and be blown away! The majority of deforestation is in the amazon basin.…

    • 1015 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    People need to meet their water, lands, energy demand in this crowded world. As a result, humans burn down a forest to turn the land into croplands or pastures, ignore to the destruction of wildlife, the disappearance of thousands animals. In “Population Growth Is a Threat to the Environment”, John Harte, a professor of ecosystem sciences, and Mary Ellen Harte, a biologist state that: “In Amazonia, where roughly a quarter of the rainforest has been destroyed, numerous species have gone extinct because their habitat became either too small or too fragmented to sustain them,…

    • 1448 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Ponderosa Pines

    • 1744 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Bark beetle outbreaks are often fueled by drought and fire-damaged trees, killing more trees and exacerbating the effects of climate change (CFPC 2015). This paper will be focusing on the decline of one of California’s most abundant species, the Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa). Ponderosa pine trees have a wide range and can be found throughout the western United States, southern Canada, and northern Mexico (Little 1971). Here in California they primarily occupy mountainous regions but have been found in elevations ranging from sea level to 10,000 ft. depending on latitude (Oliver and Ryker 1990). Ponderosa pines are susceptible to further decline as we continue to see increases in temperature and drought in California.…

    • 1744 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays