New eye opening images of global deforestation

- New images have come to light from the Earth Observatory, and unfortunately it’s not good news.  High resolution imagery shows just how extensive the deforestation is in rainforests around the world.  But specifically western Brazil, which is the most densely forested area on the planet, but is also experiencing the most damage.  Trees are being cleared for farms and cattle pasture to provide a local food source.  And while that sounds like a good thing, in the long run, it isn’t.  This land isn’t built for farming, nor do many of the locals know how to do it properly.  So the farms and ranches run a few years, but without the cover of trees, erosion and overworking makes the land useless.  So farms and ranches are abandoned.  Then more trees are cut down and the process starts all over again.  Just look at the difference in the images below…

The first is from 2000 and the second is from 2012.  In just 12 years, thousands of acres of land was cleared.  And that’s just a piece of the big picture.  Since the 80’s, an area roughly the size of West Virginia has been cleared of forests in Brazil.  This has led to mass erosion and flooding, allowed hundreds of animal species to become endangered or extinct, and has led to a reduction in the most important natural resource; oxygen.

While the rainforests house millions of animal species, some probably yet to be discovered, it is also responsible for producing more than half of the worlds oxygen.  Trees consume CO2 and covert it to oxygen, one of the 2 main ingredients to make this planet habitable (The other is obviously water).  With fewer trees comes less oxygen and higher pollution which is already leading to an extinction of dozens of species annually and is contaminating the worlds lakes, rivers, and oceans.  Whether you believe in manmade climate change or not, I think we can all agree that cutting down the rainforests is NOT a good thing.

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