Amazon Rainforest Loses The Most Amount Of Territory In A Decade

By: Julia Ordaz

Amazon, the 'lungs of the planet', is on fire – here are 5 things you need  to know

It’s the year 2021 and you would think that the human populace would understand that what they’re doing to the world is wrong. But after years of tormenting one of the only things that was holding a protective shield over our heads, the Amazon rainforest has become almost unsaveable. 4,281 miles have been destroyed from August 2019 – July 2020, an 80% rise in just a year. With bleak news comes bleak predictions- scientists are now guessing that the forest will be completely gone by 2064. 

Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, has told the press that it is his, and our duty, to combat illegal deforestation and other actions that put the forest at risk. But Bolsonaro’s policies are actually encouraging the destruction of this world necessity. 

Bolsonaro gained his position through the promise of using the rainforest to encourage economic growth in the country. Bolsonaro is a right wing extremist who is known for his intolerant ideas. This begs the question: are we really surprised that something so horrible is escalating under his watch? 

Before large chunks of it were being destroyed, the Amazon rainforest absorbed most of the CO2 released into the earth’s atmosphere. The rainforest was a large contributor to the global warming fight, and helped slow the warming temperatures’ already rapid growth. 

With the destruction of the forest, the greenhouse gases being released from the forest has overtaken the carbon dioxide being absorbed. Climate scientist, from the University of Sao Paolo Carlos Nobre, asserts that once 20-25% of the rainforest is destroyed, the area will become a savannah. He argues that the loss of habitat means that the region has already entered a dry period, one that will only get worse. 

The forest is home to over 3 million animal species, and deep in the Amazon are 400  indigenous groups, some which have never had contact with the outside world. Tribes in the rainforest live in accordance with their environment, and they have learned how to take care of it. 

The loss of the forest means the extinction of not only animals, but cultures. Without outside contact, tribes would be unable to adjust to a completely new, different way of living in such a short amount of time. Their way of life will die with the forest. 

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