What's Going on in the Amazon?

Updated: Sep 15, 2019

Did you know this was happening?

Written by Mariyan Popov and Sulayman Koch

Illustration by Vibhu Venkatesh

The Amazon rainforest is one of the largest rainforests in the world and is the majority of South America. It spans over 2 million square miles of land and holds one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world. 

In fact, the Amazon rainforest is one of the biggest players in cooling down the world because it produces moisture in the air that creates clouds and generates rainfall. 

For this reason, alone losing the Amazon rainforest would destroy the overall health of the planet. Now, why is this so important? Well as of 2019, there is a huge problem in Brazil regarding forest fires. 

There have been upwards of 80,000 forest fires in the region. Half of these fires have taken place in the Amazon rainforest. Most of these forest fires have been caused by deforestation practices like slash-and-burn which inadvertently leads to these fires that grow out of control. 

The process of slash-and-burn begins with people cutting down trees in a certain area, then allowing it to dry out they then decide to burn the dried out forest to make space for farms or other developments. This practice not only impacts the people and environment in Brazil and its immediate surroundings but around the world as well due to the immense role that it plays in the planet's overall health. 

Without the Amazon, our species and every other species that inhabit this beautiful planet are threatened and the human race has an obligation to care for it.

Sources for more info:

Zimmer, Katarina. “Why the Amazon Doesn't Really Produce 20% of the World's Oxygen.” Why the Amazon Rainforest Doesn't Really Produce 20% of the World's Oxygen, 28 Aug. 2019, www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/08/why-amazon-doesnt-produce-20-percent-worlds-oxygen/.

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