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The Human Impact on the Amazon Rainforest

Every now and then, we hear somebody on the television or pop up on the news talking about how important it is we manage the Amazon rainforest and that we stop the brutal damage we have been doing to it. Despite these constant pleas from various sources, the work has continued in earnest – for the most part – but with the recent revelations that the damage done to the rainforest may be far beyond what we first feared.

A research team comprised of people from the United Kingdom and Brazil dug into the reality behind the damage caused on the forest by man, and what this actually means for us. It is estimated that the increase of greenhouse gas emissions into the planet’s atmosphere is growing rapidly and that the fifty four billion tonnes of carbon lost within the Amazon rainforest every year is reaching roughly 40% of the entire deforestation value carbon loss worldwide.

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Because there are so many large trees within the Amazon, there is usually significant collateral damage to smaller nearby trees when they are pulled down. These large gaps not only ruin the look and effect of the forest, but it starts to create gaps between the traps which increases the exposure of both wind and sun into the forest. In the climate of Brazil, this dramatically increases the potential for wildfires spreading and further damaging the forest.

These constant damages are actually beginning to spread throughout the forest, which is already hurting the carbon production of other parts of the forest before they have even been touched. While you may hear that things aren’t so bad and that certain projects are being cut back, many more are starting or ramping up the pace of their actions.

Not only is the need for more effective policing of the forests and quotas very important, but there has to be better protection for one of the most important parts on the planet. It’s no secret how important trees are to the world so the constant destruction of such a key part of the planet is only going to lead to problems down the line – but when will big businesses really start to notice these effects?

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