What will happen if the Amazon rainforest disappears?


The Amazon rainforest covers more than 60% of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Peru, Suriname, Guyana, Venezuela and, most importantly, Brazil, which is gradually losing its fight against deforestation. Before the 1970s, the Amazon rainforest, a vast swath of tropical rainforest, covered 3.99 million square kilometers in Brazil alone. But since then, this number has been steadily decreasing. The Amazon rainforest is gradually being destroyed not only by illegal logging, but also by soy plantations and cattle ranches, condemns the NGO Greenpeace.

In 2018, the Brazilian part of the Amazon rainforest was only 3.3 million square kilometers. Brazil’s new government, Jair Bolsonaro, who has been in power since 2019, does not have the “greenest” positions…so environmentalists predict a rapid decline in forest cover in the next few years.

Amazon forests are home to 10% of all plant and animal species in the world! This rainforest also stores 100 billion metric tons of carbon, and according to the Canadian World Wildlife Fund, it filters carbon dioxide from the air and controls the climate through evapotranspiration.

Let’s see what would happen if the Amazon rainforest completely disappeared, taking with it its unexplained secrets and its 30 million inhabitants…

Unlucky rain

A 2012 study published in the journal Nature found that the Amazon is responsible for bringing rain to surrounding regions, but “deforestation can reduce the expected rainfall over a large area over a given period of time, even if it boosts the rainfall spot”. Deforestation can greatly reduce rainfall in the rich agricultural areas of southern Brazil, as well as in forested areas in Paraguay and Uruguay.
Increased dryness

What happens when there is little rain? Drinking water is scarce! One of the recent droughts in Sao Paulo, Brazil, has been exacerbated by deforestation in the Amazon.

Less rain also means less water for agriculture. Still, “Rainfall in the Amazon helps provide water for soybean farmers and cattle ranchers clearing forests,” according to National Geographic.

As more trees are cut down, the drought will worsen and food and drinking water supplies will be threatened in all surrounding areas.

Increase in greenhouse gases

According to National Geographic, the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest is leading us directly into a transition period where “massive amounts of planet-warming greenhouse gases will be released.” Adriane Esquivel-Muelbert, a Brazilian ecologist who studies the effects of climate change on forests, especially the Amazon, explains that “carbon dioxide emissions will increase so much that everyone on Earth will suffer”: air quality will be lower and global temperatures will be warmer (in turn will have many environmental consequences).

Rising floods

The Amazon is already experiencing a nearly 25% decrease in rainfall in some areas. When it rains, the ground is so dry that it does not absorb water, and these rains cause massive floods.

This scenario – longer periods of drought followed by increased flooding – will only intensify if the area of ​​the Amazon rainforest is further reduced through deforestation.

National Geographic also notes that the climate in general will change, and its consequences will be felt from afar.

Loss of biodiversity

Home to an impressive number of species of plants, animals, insects and fungi, the Amazon rainforest is home to the richest life on Earth (especially since an average of one new species is discovered every day!).

As early as 2012, Britain’s The Guardian sounded the alarm about endangered and threatened species, reporting that “many are facing a slow death sentence as their reproductive performance declines and competition for food intensifies.”

Destroy the Amazon, and much of this diversity will be destroyed at once, destroying the entire ecosystem.

Do you know rare animals that are endangered?

Loss of medical facilities

Why should people care about this loss of biodiversity? “It’s kind of a cliché to say that the cure for cancer could be in the Amazon, but it’s also true,” Brazilian environmentalist Adriane Esquivel-Muelbert told The Daily Mail.

As the NGO Rainforest Trust points out on its website, about 90% of diseases are treated with medicines derived from natural elements, such as snake venom, molds or even a shrub called periwinkle. on Amazon. How much future healing will be lost with the disappearance of the Amazon rainforest? Nobody knows.

Only one thing is certain, this man braved his fear of snakes in the Amazon!

Increase in forest fires

Deforestation in the Amazon also increases the volume, frequency, and duration of wildfires. These fires release more carbon into the atmosphere, exacerbating some of the conditions already highlighted, such as an increasingly warm climate.

While you’re there, take a look at some of the world’s scariest forests.

Increase in poverty

Not only is the Amazon home to amazing flora and fauna, but most people make their living from the Amazon rainforest. All the world’s tropical forests provide more than 300 million people with food, energy security, income and medicinal plants.

“As forests are destroyed, the people who depend on them become poorer. Without forests, people move to big cities or migrate to wealthier countries in search of work.

Now discover Canada’s wilderness in pictures.

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