Deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest

In the past 40 years close to 20% of the Amazon Rainforest has been destroyed. If the destruction continues at this rate, by 2060 half of the Amazon Rainforest will be destroyed, which will lead to global warming and the extinction of thousands of species of animals and plants.

About the Amazon Rainforest
  • Largest Rainforest in world (1.4 billion acres), more than half the remaining rainforests on the planet
  • More than 20% of the oxygen on Earth is produced here, nicknamed "Lungs of the Planet"
  • Half the world's species of plants, insects, and animals live in the Amazon
  • About 3000 edible fruits found in the rainforest
  • 70% of plants with anticancer properties are found in Amazon
  • 2.7 million acres of rainforest are burned each year
  • Could contain plants with cures for AIDS and other diseases
  • 20% world's bird species live here
  • Over 4000 plant species
  • 2 and a half million insect species
  • One of the world's greatest natural resources
  • Amazon River, 16% of of all world's river water flows through Amazon Delta
  • 9 feet of rain every year
  • Climate warm and humid, average temp 79 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 200,000 acres burnt a day
  • 150 acres destroyed every minute

Causes of Deforestation
  • 60-70% total for cattle
  • Need more room for cattle and pasture
  • The population is increasing in Brazil, so more food is needed to feed the growing population. One problem is that there is not enough space for cattle because the animals need lots of land. They get their land from the Amazon by setting the trees on fire and getting rid of them, aka deforestation.
  • 3-4% of total deforestation is logging, good source of quality wood
  • 3% is infrastructure building

Effects of Deforestation
  • The climate would change, because the trees in the Amazon absorb a lot of CO2, which is the greenhouse gas that is the most responsible for global warming
  • If we got rid of the trees, burning them down would lead to a massive amount of CO2 being released with fewer and fewer trees to absorb them and transfer them into oxygen
  • CO2 would also reach the atmosphere in larger amounts which would lead to global warming more quickly
  • The rainforest also produces nitrogen and phosphor
  • A lot of biodiversity
  • Scientists think there could be a cure for diseases that we do not have cures for yet like AIDS because there have been thousands of plant species that are still undiscovered
  • Many animals and plants would become extinct

Amazon Rainforest Pictures