amazon_rainforest

The Amazon is nearly the size of the contiguous United States.

In the last fifty years, Brazil's Amazon has lost nearly a fifth of its forest cover, -almost three hundred thousand square miles. In 2015, it lost another two thousand quare miles. 

The Amazon absorbs more carbon dioxide than it emites. Deforestation may also be disrupting reginal percipitation patterns, and it has been linked to drought in Brazil's southeast. Rising temperatures and drought contribute to the death of trees in the forest, creating a cycle that may lead to further deforestation.

The Amazon Rainforest absorbs around 6 hundred million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. The trees store the carbon, and release the oxygen into the atmosphere. When they die off, they release carbon dioxide. Researchers say deforestation has caused the Amazon to absorb less than half as much carbon dioxide as it did twenty years ago

Deforestation and conservation polocies affect the millions of city dwellers, farmers, ranchers, rubber tappers, and indigenous people who call the Amazon home. Many in Brazil's agriculture industry say ranching and farming, which have contributed to wide-scale deforestation in the Amazon, have helped reduce hunger in the country. Millions of people rely on cleared land for their livelihoods, yet others depend on the rainforest's preservation of their economic well-being. 

300 Indigenous groups, including 80 of the world's last uncontacted tribes - communities that have had limited contact with outside groups. 

The Amazon is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. The forest’s plants and animals sustain livelihoods and inform scientific research.

-researchers say dozens of species of Amazonian animals will become extinct by 2050.

Deforestation reduces the amount of water in the atmosphere. This affects regional precipitation patterns and can cause droughts beyond the Amazon.

 

More than half of Amazonian tree species, including the Brazil nut, cacao, and the açai palm, may qualify as globally threatened if deforestation trends continue, according to recent research.