Justin Rickett Mr. Monteleone 5/26/09 Every second, about 1 ½ acres of rainforests disappear, and everyday, approximately 137 plants, animals, and insect species are lost due to rainforest deforestation



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Justin Rickett Mr. Monteleone 5/26/09

Every second, about 1 ½ acres of rainforests disappear, and everyday, approximately 137 plants, animals, and insect species are lost due to rainforest deforestation. Rainforests are destroyed because of logging, farming, supplying fuelwood, and mining, and many more. They are quickly diminishing before our eyes! Rainforests are the Earth’s environmental treasures, but many people are not aware of their importance, and how serious the problem of the disappearing rainforests is to our environment. Therefore, people should be educated on why we need to save the rainforests in order to take action to protect them.



Trees in the rainforests help the environment by producing oxygen. The Amazon Rainforest is called the “lungs of our planet”, which alone produces over 20% of the world’s oxygen. 40% of the world’s oxygen comes from tropical rainforests. Trees in the rainforests also provide habitat to creatures such as monkeys and birds. The Amazon Rainforest contains a bigger variety of animals and plants than any other place in the world. The more deforestation of rainforests happens, the quicker animals/plants go threatened, endangered, or extinct. Experts predict that over half of the species of plants, animals, and microorganisms on Earth will be seriously threatened over the next 25 years due to the disappearance of the rainforests.

Rainforest deforestation can change the climate and temperature on Earth. When trees are cut down, they can’t take carbon dioxide out of the air, causing the greenhouse gases to trap in heat, and making the Earth hotter. Also, the supply of water could dry up. Trees use water during photosynthesis, without trees water will stay on the ground, which is not evaporated by the heat of the sun to form rain and clouds. There would be less rain, which can seriously threaten the survival of animals/plants. There could also be more floods because there would not be enough trees around to soak up water from the rain. As a result of the decrease in rainforests, the population of people, plants, animals, and microorganisms will be severely affected. For example, there used to be about ten million Indians in the Amazon Rainforest 5 centuries ago, and now there are only 200,000.
Did you know that 25% of drugs used today come from ingredients in plants that originated in the rainforests? The medicinal plants in the rainforest help make drugs to treat problems from toothaches to childhood leukemia. Of all the plants that are identified to have anti-cancer functions by the U.S. National Cancer Institute, 70% of them can be found ONLY in the tropical rainforests. In 1983, there were no U.S. pharmaceutical companies involved in the study of rainforest plants and their medicinal usage, now there are more than 100 companies and U.S. government agencies devoting their time to the study.
Rainforests used to cover 14% of the land on Earth, now there is only about 6%. After knowing the serious effects rainforest deforestation have on our environment, and the importance of the existence of the rainforests to our lives, people should use every power they have to stop the rainforests from disappearing. It’s time to act now before it’s too late!

Bibliography

http://www.rain-tree.com/facts.htm

http://rainforests.mongabay.com/0303.htm

http://www.coolearth.org/337/bringing-rainforests-into-the-classroom-35/information-for-students-164/what-effect-does-deforestation-have-397.html

http://rainforests.mongabay.com/0907.htm

http://www.savetherainforest.org/savetherainforest_006.htm

http://rainforests.mongabay.com/1007.htm

http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/rainforest.htm

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