B1 Intermediate US 18 Folder Collection
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The Amazon Rainforest is big news right now as fires continue to consume its lush landscape.
It's essential to our planet's climate, ecosystem, and more.
If we do nothing, the Amazon could be gone within 100 years.
What would that mean for us?
1.
We'd miss out on important medicine.
A lot of the ingredients in our modern medicines come from the plants of the Amazon.
These include the most important medications, such as essential vaccines.
Many of the plants of the Amazon are still being studied today with the hope of finding
ingredients that will cure some of our most serious diseases.
If all the plants are wiped out, we could lose our chance at advancing our field of
medicine.
2.
The economy of South America would be ruined.
The Amazon Rainforest covers about 40% of South America, covering 8 countries.
If it was suddenly gone, a lot of South America's exports and businesses would disappear with
it.
Millions of people depend on the Amazon basin for their income.
It would certainly be devastating for South American people; it would also seriously damage
the global trade route, which would impact the whole world!
3.
The world would lose oxygen.
The Amazon is referred to as “the planet's lungs” for a reason.
Our planet gets 20% of its oxygen from this Rainforest, due to its massive size.
If the fires continue, not only will we lose that huge oxygen source, but extra pollution
will be released.
Fires cause carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and other nasty gases and toxins to run rampant
through the environment.
Normally, all the Amazon's trees would do the cleanup for us, given that all trees convert
carbon dioxide to oxygen.
But without them, we'd be at the mercy of those toxins.
4.
There'd be a huge loss of wildlife.
Covering just over 2 million square miles, the Amazon is home to 30% of our planet's
wildlife.
It's also home to some animals that can't be found anywhere else.
We'd be losing important biodiversity, which refers to the variety of life in an ecosystem.
Why is biodiversity so important?
It prevents extinction and allows plants and animals to keep evolving and adapting.
If there's no biodiversity, it could wipe out an entire ecosystem.
5.
It would speed up global climate change.
Fires are actually normal in the Amazon during the dry season—they've just never been
this out of control before.
To cope with the fires of the dry season, the Rainforest came up with its own toxin
storage system, helped along by the huge number of trees.
If all the trees were gone, that storage system would no longer work, and those toxins would
heat up the atmosphere.
This would disrupt the atmospheric circulation, placing that heat where it's not supposed
to be; like in the Arctic, melting glaciers.
6.
The Rainforest would become a carbon source.
Let's unpack that storage system a little more.
The Amazon's trees absorb carbon dioxide, a primary greenhouse gas.
Greenhouses gases are able to trap and reflect the sun's radiation back to Earth.
Scientists say that about 86 billion tons of carbon dioxide are embedded in the Amazon.
If all the trees are burned, instead of storing carbon dioxide, it'll be released, affecting
the climate, atmosphere, and air quality on a global scale.
7.
There would be a loss of natural resources.
In addition to oxygen and medicinal plants, we'd also lose a substantial supplier of
minerals, fresh water, and food.
As far as minerals go, we'd lose a primary source of gold, silver, tin, copper, and zinc.
As for that essential water, the Amazon River provides 20% of the world's fresh water
from its 1,100 tributaries.
And, if you love your hot cup of coffee in the morning?
Well … If the Amazon were destroyed, you can kiss your morning joe goodbye, in addition
to fruits, rice, and CHOCOLATE, just to name a few.
8.
Soil Erosion We don't usually give soil a lot of thought,
but it can actually cause a lot of damage when it moves around!
Soil is held in place by plants; mainly by the roots of trees.
If there are no trees to hold it in place, storms and winds can push it around, polluting
water, and even causing dangerous mudslides.
The soil could also clog irrigation structures, causing a big problem for farmers.
And it could potentially cause a loss of electricity.
9.
We could start seeing a cycle of more fires.
The Rainforest can repair itself and grow again after a normal forest fire, given that
enough young trees survive.
But if the saplings don't survive, the smoke and other gases from the fire will dry the
air out for miles.
Also, a healthy Rainforest can produce its own rain, making any burned and damaged areas
lush again.
If the compromised Amazon can no longer do this, coupled with the dry air, fires will
pop up everywhere, even long distances away.
There won't be anything to naturally stop the fires or repair the damage, as evolution
intended.
10.
Unpredictable drought and rainfall patterns.
Science has shown that rainforests, in general, influence the climate both globally and locally.
If we get into this scary, unending cycle of the Amazon Rainforest not being able to
generate rain, getting dry, and causing widespread fires, droughts would be inevitable.
It would still rain, but it'd be less often, and without help from the Rainforest.
It would be difficult to estimate when the next rain will come, making life unpredictable
for plants, animals, and farmers.
11.
We could see disastrous floods.
I've talked a lot about fires and droughts, so this one might not make sense, but stay
with me.
Yes, there would be less rainfall; but without the trees and plants of the Rainforest to
absorb excess water, a random heavy rainfall could result in large amounts of flooding.
This doesn't go for just the Amazon River, either; any body of water would be at risk.
Unhealthy soil would add to the disaster: excessive rain + unanchored soil = mudslide.
Farmland and homes would be overcome with rain and mud.
12.
Overcrowded cities.
As I mentioned earlier, the Amazon Rainforest spans across 8 countries in South America.
All of this disaster would affect the rural population first—meaning the 30 million
people that live outside the cities.
Rural people will be forced into the cities, which are already home to millions.
This will cause overcrowding, which comes with its own problems: possible rises in crime,
low job availability resulting in increased poverty, and a higher risk of disease.
13.
Change in landscape If the Amazon Rainforest totally collapses,
what was once healthy green rainforest will look and feel more like the Sahara Desert.
The climate will be dry, and certainly wouldn't support the same wildlife as before.
Where there were once trees and colorful tropical flowers, there would be flat, dusty desert
or savannah.
14.
Hours of Daytime Darkness Even now, the amount of smoke from the fires
is causing some areas of South America to experience periods of darkness during the
daytime, particularly in Brazil.
The smoke can even be seen from space!
In fact, more than 72,000 fires in the Amazon have been seen from space since January.
The resulting smoke is capable of stretching thousands of miles.
There were 1,700 miles between the fires and the location of the blackout!
• A little bit more about deforestation…
Forest fires aren't the only thing responsible for destroying the Amazon Rainforest.
Other forms of deforestation include logging and adding infrastructure, like more roads,
to growing cities.
Stricter laws are being put in place in an attempt to curb deforestation of any type
and save the Amazon.
• Is there anything we can do??
Yes, we're not at the point of no return yet.
There are a lot of websites set up to help you learn more about the Amazon and donate
to the cause if you want.
Some of them are pretty fun—they might let you donate to “plant a tree in the Amazon”
or “adopt a sloth!”
There are easy things you can do at home, in addition to educating yourself, that will
make a difference!
Be sure to recycle.
Use those stainless-steel straws.
Try to waste less paper.
Know where your food comes from and how it gets to your table.
There are lots of ways to help, even if donating isn't an option.
Hey, if you learned something new, give this video a like and share it with a friend!
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Will We Lose Oxygen If We Lose the Amazon Rainforest?

18 Folder Collection
大文 published on April 6, 2020
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