Amazon Rain Forest Term Paper

Total Length: 1018 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: -4

Page 1 of 3

Global warming, natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes, and our quality of resources like air and water are all controversial topics today. Many people say that the benefits of industry and exploration outweigh the environmental costs, like fewer rain forests or the extinction of species. Others say that these environmental resources ought to be conserved, even if it means scaling back industrial operations like mining, logging, or production. And although the many individuals who illegally destroy parts of protected regions are fined or punished otherwise, there are hundreds, at least, who are never caught (Mirabella 1997).

The Amazon rain forest is one of these areas which is so debated; there are definite, tangible profits to be made through its deforestation and the cultivation of industrial pursuits; however, there are also marked costs in destroying or harming this natural resource. This paper will briefly examine a few of the harmful ways that Amazon deforestation affects our entire globe and our environment.

The immediate effect of deforestation in the Amazon, or in any rain forest, is that the area is no longer a lush, tropical habitat for many plant and animal species. In many cases, these species have nowhere else to go, or cannot survive in another climate or region and thus become endangered or extinct. There are twelve species of birds that are native and exclusive to the Amazon, and by destroying the only region in which they live, industry and deforestation are destroying these species, even if the extinction is "inadvertent" (Blake 1999).
The loss of these birds is only one of the many ways that specific species are being dislocated from their native habitats and, in turn, being forced into endangerment or extinction by the deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon region. This extinction not only affects the entire world with regard to the number of animal and plant species that we may observe for pleasure, but also is destroying potential sources of research -- both medical and otherwise -- that might exist only in these extinct or endangered species.

Another, more direct way that the deforestation in the Amazon effects the greater world is through climate changes produced by the shifting amount of carbon dioxide that is no longer processed by the trees which are destroyed in deforestation. Studies have demonstrated that when the rain forests are diminished in size, precipitation also diminishes over them (Lawrence 2002). This decreased rainfall can translate into worldwide diminished rainfall, since such a significant portion of the world's precipitation is begun in a climate such as the Amazonian rain forest and then travels to other locales worldwide. With less precipitation originating from Brazil, there is less precipitation to be spread around locations that depend on this rainfall for their own precipitation needs; for example, there is no rainfall produced in the deserts of the Western U.S., but these areas do occasionally receive rainfall. That moisture is produced somewhere else and is then carried along wind or current routes to the drier areas; with a decrease in this precipitation to be.....

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