- Approximately 20% of the Amazon rainforest has already been destroyed.
- The Amazon rainforest is home to the 10% of all plant and animal species on the planet Earth.
- Human activity, such as agriculture and cattle ranching, caused most of the fires across the Amazon rainforest.
As scary as it may sound, we might be close to the "point of no return. "Southern regions of the Amazon are under threat of fire. The flames are destroying all of the wildlife in its path, and slowly killing one of the planet's most valuable storages of carbon. Plants extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release that sweet oxygen that we humans need to breathe and live. They also help with the greenhouse effect and thus have a direct influence on climate change. But, around 20% of the rainforest is already destroyed, and much more is still under the threat of human activity.
How Much Of The Amazon Rainforest Are We Losing?
The estimations of loss are shocking, as they reveal that the Amazon rainforest is disappearing at an unbelievable rate of 20,000 square miles a year. It is a place that holds the most animal and plant species in the entire world. It is the largest rainforest we have, and the most important one. The Amazon rainforest is the largest intact ecosystem in the world. It is home to over 24 million people, including hundreds of thousands of indigenous societies, in Brazil alone.
This beautiful and rich place is responsible for inspiring scientists to come up with the term "biodiversity." It is the home to 10% of all animal and plant species on our planet. Besides its overwhelming diversity of life, it plays a critical role in helping regulate the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere on the planet as roughly 100 billion metric tons of carbon are held in the Amazon rainforest. That is more than ten times the annual global fossil-fuel emissions.
In the last 40 years, the Brazilian Amazon lost nearly 20% of its rainforest. It is all because of human activity such as logging, cattle ranching, agriculture, and many others. Despite the recent development of protected areas and slower rates of deforestations, most of the remaining forest is still in danger, and so are the animals and people who rely on the forest for survival.
Fires are raging every year, and forest areas the size of entire cities are destroyed. As of 2019, the number of fires across the Amazon rainforest increased exponentially, more so than it was during the last ten years. It is not rare to see areas the size of New Jersey being swallowed in flame. Once again, humans caused the majority of those fires because of the need for more open lands for agriculture and cattle ranching.
We Need To Fight To Survive
There is no way around it; we need to find a way and fight for the existence of the Amazon rainforest before it is too late. The releases of carbon dioxide, due to recent fire damage, is already changing South America, and the same will happen to the rest of our planet if nothing is done. We can plant trees all we want, but deforestations and fires are our biggest enemies here, and it only takes several days to destroy decades of well-thought effort. People need to start caring, they need to realize what they are losing, and we need to stop the cause of the fires and deforestations at its core.