Animal Life
Deforestation and Habitat Loss
Climatology and Climate Changes

Why is the Amazon Rainforest so important?

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Todd L Ross
2019-09-10 15:43:35

Many scientists believe the Amazon rainforest plays a crucial role in moderating global temperatures. That’s the primary reason to be concerned about deforestation efforts, but here’s a more detailed breakdown of the Amazon’s importance:

1. It removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Each year, the Amazon rainforest absorbs about a quarter of the carbon dioxide generated by the burning of fossil fuels, so it’s one of the most effective tools we have in the fight against the potentially disastrous effects of climate change.

Recent research indicates that the Amazon is becoming less effective as a carbon sink, but in 2014, a seven-year NASA study confirmed the rainforest still absorbs much more carbon than it puts out.

If the rainforest is destroyed or significantly depleted, we’ll lose this protection, and we’ll need to find more innovative ways to reduce man-made carbon output.

2. It stabilizes South American rainfall cycles.

Plants play a crucial role in the water cycle by turning water to vapor via transpiration, and the Amazon rainforest is a major factor in South America’s rainfall cycle.

There are an estimated 390 billion trees in the Amazon. If that number decreases dramatically, rainfall cycles across South America will change dramatically in unexpected ways—and that’s obviously bad news.

3. It could help us develop new medicines.

A significant percentage of our medicines use plant-derived ingredients, but scientists have only identified a fraction of the world’s likely total number of plant species.

By cataloging and studying plants from the Amazon, scientists could find cures and more effective treatments for some diseases.

“From an amoeba to an elephant, every living thing is a factory of substances, and plants aren't different,” botanist Mateus Paciencia told The Guardian. “A plant or tree is a small medicine factory. All we need to do is try and find the application for these substances.”

4. It’s the most biodiverse ecosystem on the planet.

Biodiversity refers to the number of different organisms in an ecosystem. Diverse ecosystems improve the global economy, provide resources for humans, and aid in the fight against climate change.

“Biodiversity is life on Earth, and every extinction chips away at it, undermining the stability of the planet,” Olivier Langrand, executive director of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, told Conservation International.

The ecosystems of the Amazon contain about 10 to 15 percent of the total biodiversity on land. More than 440 new species were discovered in the Amazon rainforest between 2010 and 2013, many of them critically endangered. As deforestation increases, species are lost forever—and scientists lose the opportunity to study some of the planet’s most unusual plants and animals.

Saving the Amazon also makes financial sense. By one estimate, by reducing the deforestation and degradation of the Amazon by 50 percent, the global economy would benefit to the tune of about $3.7 trillion.

Deforestation dropped by 75 percent from 2005 to 2014, but it’s currently on the rise, and the recent fires in Brazil threaten the preservation efforts. Saving the rainforest may require a global effort, but because the area offers enormous benefits to the entire planet, it’s certainly an important undertaking.

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Wiki User
2011-09-13 15:32:41

It is home to millions of animals and plants, many already

endangered. The trees of the Amazon also help create oxygen through

photosynthesis, a process by which the chloroplasts in plant cells

convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into breathable oxygen.

because it helps animals live and is homes to alot of


If it wasn't important all animals will die and turn into


because it contributes some of the worlds oxegen and preserves

endangered wildlife

because you can get all your CD and dvds sent within 24 hours


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