4 Reasons Why Rainforests Matter to Your Life
I work for a nonprofit that saves rainforests. Sometimes I go to schools and teach kids about rainforests. Sometimes I go to bars and teach adults about rainforests. Here is main takeaway:
- •They regulate our weatherOne canopy tree in the rainforest gives off 2,000 liters of water per year. That doesn't seem like a lot, but multiply that by the billions of trees that make up the Amazon. That's a whole lot of water being pumped in to the air, which then turns in to rain clouds which then rain on us here in North America. Scientists have found a direct link between drought in Texas and deforestation in the Amazon, so let's keep our rainforests standing to regulate our weather.
- •They are the lungs of our planetIf the earth was a human, tropical rainforests would be her lungs. Tropical rainforests are responsible for inhaling 20% of our CO2 emissions annually - that's as much as all the emissions put out by the world's entire transportation sector. ***This is especially important as we are all beginning to feel the harmful affects of climate change***
- •They give us life-saving medicinesThis so the Rosy Madagascar Periwinkle and scientists have used this flower to create a drug that has essentially cured a main form of childhood leukemia (survival rate from 10% to 95%). It has saved countless lives, but is now extinct in the wild due to deforestation. 2/3 of all of our cancer-fighting drugs come from tropical rainforests, but less than 1% of all rainforest plants have been studied- which makes me wonder what other cures are out there that are being threatened by deforestation?
- •They are the most biodiverse place on land50% of our planet's species are originally from tropical rainforests. One hectare (2.5 acres) in the Ecuadorian Amazon has more plant and insect species than the European continent. Basically, tropical rainforests are the incubators of life.