The Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world and covers the entire Amazon River basin. This rainforest covers roughly 7 million square kilometers in area and is located largely in Brazil and also expands to other neighboring countries of the region. The biodiversity in this region is spectacular and the rainforest has developed over tens of millions of years. The Amazon rainforest is home to millions of species of trees, birds, plants, reptiles, and animals and some part of the Amazon Rainforest are so dense that it is difficult to reach for human beings. The Amazon Rainforest in 2019 has suffered severe wildfires which have destroyed large areas of the forest. This does not just have a local impact but is potentially dangerous for the entire planet. The following is an explanation about the importance of the Amazon Rainforest, the cause of the fire, and the global impact of the fire:
The Importance of the Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon Rainforest is called the lungs of the planet because the trees in the vast rainforest absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere traps heat and causes climate change and global warming. The Amazon Rainforest provides 20% of the oxygen to the world, is home to many millions of plants and animals species essential for the sustainability of the planet. It plays a role in the wind streams around the earth, it provides fresh water to millions, and it also keeps the oceans from turning acidic. This year was the hottest on record in many places around the world and there has been a substantial increase in the wildfires in the Amazon Rainforest in 2019.
The following are details about the causes of the wildfire:
Causes of Amazon Rainforest Wildfire
1.2019 has been a bad year for the Amazon rainforests. There have been recorded numbers of fires in the Amazon rainforests destroying millions of trees and natural habitat for plants and animals in the region.
2. Over the last few decades, the biggest threat to the Amazon rainforests is deforestation and destruction of the forests because of human activity. As the planet warms further, the forest fires become more erratic and uncontrollable destroying more of the rainforest.
3. Farmers and ranchers are clearing the forests by starting these fires in the Amazon to get more land for farming and cattle grazing. This year the forest fires are 80% more than they were last year in this region.
4. These fires are started by human beings sometimes by accident and other times on purpose. Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest by the timber and wood industry is another reason for the destruction.
5. There is a change in the central government in Brazil and the new government is pro- business and has been accused of emboldening the ranchers and farmers to clear the forests by starting the fires for commercial gains.
6. This year the fires have spread rapidly because of the warming of temperatures, purposeful clearing of land using fire and also a lack of political will to save the rainforests. The wildfires are so widespread that they can be visible from space and are causing air pollution in various cities in Brazil.
Global Impact of the Amazon Rainforest Forest
1.Amazon Rainforest is not just important for Brazil and South America but also the entire world as the protection of the Amazon Rainforest is important for the survival of the planet. There has been a global outcry and concern about these wildfires from world leaders and also activists from all over the world.
2. More than 74,000 wildfires have been recorded in Brazil this year and a large number of these are in the Amazon rainforest. Smoke plumes have reached major cities in Brazil which is making air pollution and release of carbon dioxide in the air a major concern. Increased carbon dioxide will make it harder to breathe for human beings as well as animals on the planet and cause many medical issues. The release of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and methane into the atmosphere will cause long term and harmful impact on the environment.
3. The Amazon Rainforests are to play a critical role in keeping the global temperatures from rising at an alarming rate and to achieve the target of keeping global temperatures from rising below more than 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius.
4. The destruction of the Amazon rainforest will accelerate global warming and also cause long term climate change and make climate around the world more erratic. It will change wind patterns, create desertification in South America, help in raising the sea levels around the world and contribute to the destruction of the planet.
Our planet is burning and the Amazon Rainforests which are called the lungs of the earth are on fire. This is a global emergency and conserving the planet and stopping these wildfires is important to save the planet.