In the past few decades we have seen rapid changes in the climate. We have also seen some of the wildest and most extreme weather and climatic events.

Millions of people around the world, as well as wildlife, are being affected by these events due in a large part to global warming caused by an excess of gasses, such as carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere.

Rainforests can help to counteract the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by absorbing it and releasing useful by-products. What do we do to show our gratitude? We cut them down!

It is estimated that 1.5 acres of rainforest is destroyed every second.

Tropical Rainforests

lake-273783_1280A tropical rainforest is a hot, moist, natural ecosystem that exists in the tropical region, between the Tropic Of Cancer and the Tropic Of Capricorn. The beauty and timelessness of rainforests is beyond compare. The complex ecosystem and biodiversity of rainforests have developed and evolved over millions of years.

Rainforests are home to thousands of species of plants and animals that contribute to the wealth of unique natural resources that are so valuable for the survival of mankind. Rainforests provide resources including food, clothing, timber, fuel, shelter, industrial raw materials and medicine.

Preserving forests around the world is necessary for human sustainability and wildlife natural habitat preservation. The ecosystem of rainforests is a chain of interdependent systems that can be damaged or destroyed very easily through human irresponsibility.

Although tropical forests cover less than 7% of the earth’s surface, they are home to approximately 50% of all living things on earth.

Atmospheric role of rainforest

Trees have a hidden attribute that plays a key role in reducing pollutant levels.

They use carbon dioxide (CO2), which is emitted by all living things in the process of respiration and also through human activities, to produce glucose during their photosynthesis process. They then give out oxygen as a by-product, which is necessary for us and all other living and breathing beings.

Video Credit: Carlos Monzon

Over the last couple of hundred years, humans have been adding massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the air by burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas which contributes to the greenhouse effect. Scientists have proven beyond doubt that the global climate has been warming up, and we are the primary cause of climatic changes around the globe.

Rainforests help to reduce greenhouse effects in two ways.

  • By absorbing Carbon dioxide
  • By producing Oxygen

Without the vast rainforests that once were, we’re losing our great allies in keeping CO2 in check.

Rainforests are full of resources

turkey-516799_1280Rainforests store a vast supply of world’s greatest natural resources. They host a wide variety of  lifesaving  plants, roots and remedies that could cure diseases. It is estimated that there are more than 3,000 species of plants in rainforests. Approximately 7,000 medical compounds prescribed by Western doctors are derived from these plants,  with an estimated retail value of US$43 billion. The United States National Cancer Institute has identified 70% of the plants with potential anti-cancer properties. (Medicinal Treasures of the Rainforest: Discover the healing resources of the Amazon).

Rainforests not only provide life saving medicinal plants and nutritious fruits, but they also supply livelihoods for communities living around the forests including agricultural resources, timber, staple food and clothing.

Rainforests are also known for their scenic beauty and are popular tourist attractions. Rainforests offer holiday resorts with fun-filled activities and opportunities for cultural exchange. They’re perfect for adventures, photography, bird watching, nature study, fishing and  relaxation.

Effects of deforestation

640px-Rio_Madre_de_Dios,_PeruRainforests produce about 20% of all the oxygen in the world.  They support a huge number of species and supply valuable resources to us. yet, rainforests are being destroyed worldwide for the profits they yield.  Rainforests have been decreasing around the world due to deforestation and irresponsible destruction, unsustainable harvesting of timber and other natural and  human activities.

Today, only 5% of Brazil’s Atlantic coastal rainforest remains.

We obviously need the resources available to us from the rainforest, but it is also extremely important that we preserve these natural ecosystems. Rainforests are the main cradles of life on earth, supporting life through their unique ecosystems.

At the current rate of deforestation, the world’s tropical rainforests will be wiped out within 40 years.

Destroying the rainforests would be equivalent to destroying a part of our own existence.

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Source: Environmental Professionals Network

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