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The Rain Forest - The Lung of the World
by: Helena Ray
- Since, the day all of us were born, our bodies have depended on oxygen. We simply can not live without oxygen to achieve optimum health. If oxygen is such a crucial part of our lives why then does man continue to destroy its very existence? The Earth's two main sources of oxygen are created in oceans and by the growth of the Rainforest. The Rainforest provides the essential environmental world service of continuously recycling carbon dioxide in oxygen.
- The Amazon Rainforest has been described as the "Lung of the World."
More than 20% of the worlds oxygen is produced in the Amazon Rainforest. Experts are now calling the Rainforest "The Air Condition of the World", Why? Due to the mass destruction of the Rain forest, it has left insufficient cover, which causes the Rainforest to reflect more heat into the Earth's atmosphere, causing the rest of the world to become warmer. Another reason for global warming is from burning down the rainforest. There are many statistics floating around about how bad the destruction of the Rainforest has become. A statistic we found to be alarming comes from Brazil's Environmental Ministry.
It estimates that of the almost two billion acres of The Amazon Rainforest that originally spanned seven countries, 85% remains today-compared to 99% in 1970. The New York base alliance estimated that more than 33 million acres of the Amazonian Rainforest disappears every year, an area greater than New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Delaware combined. If the Amazon Rainforest were a country it would be the 9th largest in the world.
- Due to the destruction of the Rainforest, 23 billion tons of carbon dioxide is released into the Earth's atmosphere each year.
Threatening the ecosystem, animals, plants and people throughout the globe. Over the next quarter century it is estimated that nearly half of the worlds species of plants, animals and microorganisms will be destroyed or severely threaten. The United States is said to be the world largest single emitter of carbon dioxide. Accounting for 23% of energy -related carbon emissions in the world. Since 1950 the release of Carbon dioxide in the world has tripled.
- It is obvious the balance of nature is being destroyed. Every second of the day land the size of two football fields is lost forever in the Rainforests through out the world.
The Rainforest is a home to 50 to 70% of all life forms on the Earth. We tend to forget that we as humans are not the only living breathing organism on the plant. Is it selfishness or pure stupidity? We are losing Earth's biological treasures, instead of appreciating its true value. The rainforests are being destroyed because the governments, multi-national logging companies, and landowners perceive the land as only the value of its timber. Humans tend to forget what the Rainforest actually offers.
- At least 80% of the world's diet comes from the tropical Rainforest. There are hundreds of types of trees and thousands of species of higher plants found in the Rainforest which only 1% have been tested by scientist in an attempt to find cures for diseases and more importantly cancer. The National Cancer Institute has found 3000 plants that are active against cancer cells, sadly enough 70% of them are found in the Rainforest.
- Experts estimate that we are losing 137 plants, animals and insects species every day because of Rainforest deforestation. Once covering 14% of the Earth's surface, the rainforest now covers 6%. It is said that the rainforest could potentially be consumed completely in less than 40 years.
DID YOU KNOW??
- When we looked at the amount of Rainforest that is cut down, the statistic we found were outrageous, especially when it's broken down. It as been estimated that 20% of the Amazon Rainforest is already obliterated: 78 million acres per year, 214,000 acres per day, 150 acres per minute and 2.47 acres per second.
Satellite-based deforestation monitoring is an essential tool in studies of human effects on tropical forests, because it documents the most extreme form of land use, over large areas, and at low cost. But this monitoring needs to be expanded to include forests affected by logging and surface fire if it is to accurately reflect the full magnitude of human influences on tropical forests." - NASA Rainforest Deforestation
A report in the current issue of Nature Magazine puts in doubt the official Brazilian Government report of destruction of the Rainforest. "The real extent of rainforest damage in the Amazon is more than twice as great as present estimates suggest, researchers say.
- The Amazon Rainforest has be referred to has a giant "Heat Pump", that sends energy and moisture from the tropics into the colder high latitude. This is what produces the climate we live in, which is why Rainforest is a key element of our global weather system. Destroying the rainforest can ultimately cause droughts, flooding and soil erosion in area that would normally not be subjected to that problem. By destroying the rainforest the reflectivity of the Earth 's surface is being changed. This alters wind and ocean patterns and change rainfall dispersion. It similar to a domino effect. When you look at the weather patterns in 1999-2000 and compare it to 20 years ago the change in our weather is obvious. It's a fore warning of coming events for earth.
- Did you know?
The plants of the ocean of which phytoplankton is formed are a major source of oxygen for the world. Plants need light to photosynthesize, which allow them to produce oxygen. This is the problem we found to be alarming. Over 100,000 different types of chemicals are pumped into Table Bay in one Day. When pollution is dumped in the waterways it blocks the sunlight This poison and kills aquatic plants and animals. It also interferes with the biological balance of the waterway. What this means is that the body of water that once generated oxygen from the plants now demands oxygen from the atmosphere. Its real simple, we take away from them, they take away from us.
Studies show that atmospheric Oxygen is declining. The causes include the following:
- An increase in toxic waste sites
- The growth of industrial pollutants
- The destruction of our Rainforest and woodlands
- Automobile carbon monoxide
- An increase of polluted water tables
- Pollution to our rivers, streams and oceans
- Action Plan
There are ways to help save the rainforest. And remember a little bit goes a long way. Changing your own life style is the most important thing you can do as a result you may motivate others to do the same.
Reduce the use of wood and other wood based paper in your personal life, schools, business and cities. Learn about and promote 100% recycled or tree free paper. Don't buy tropical wood products. Stay away from rosewood and mahogany furniture and paneling. Don't buy plywood made from rainforest timber.
America is known for it fast-food restaurants. Rainforest beef is typically found in fast-food hamburgers or processed beef products. 100 million pounds of fresh and frozen beef from Central American countries is imported in the United States each year. Two thirds of these countries' rainforest has been cleared primarily to raise cattle, whose stringy, cheap meat is exported to profit the U.S. food industry. When entering into the country it's difficult to trace the origin of the Beef because its not label properly.
- Join organizations that are working on rain forest preservation. There are a number of national and worldwide environmental groups that are working to save the rain forest. The following is a list of just a few:
The Rain Forest Foundation
We at Convictions of the Heart have provided this information to help educate you and your family concerning the rainforest situation. You can learn more about rainforests through books, magazines, videos, and films. By doing this we hope you are inspired to talk to others. There are many ways to inform others aside from public speaking. You can write articles for your local newspaper. Set up an outreach table in your community, at the local library, YMCA and even at schools. The power to change is something all of us possess. REMEMBER THE MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE IT ONLY WORKS WHEN ITS OPEN!
The World Wildlife Fund
Adopting the Rainforest
About the Author
Helena Ray is the creator of Convictions of the Heart, a website dedicated to helping people become aware of the current environmental problems and the personal effects on your health. Convictions of the Heart supports all green merchants and offers a variety of environmentally friendly products, all natural products, and whole foods.