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Why Should We Save The Rainforest? Part 1: Climate

Julie Katz climate environment rainforest

These days, you hear all about the catastrophic global impact of carbon emissions released by man. That's all well and good, but did you know that yet another great climate modifier is affected by those same carbon emissions?

Without rainforests, the global climate would lose its universal stabilizer and be thrown out of whack.

Rainforests Regulate The Climate

Plants and trees are more important to the environment than we can measure. They release oxygen that we breathe, and suck up the carbon dioxide that we exhale. According to the World Nature Organization, the rainforests are responsible for absorbing and storing between 90 and 140 million metric tons of carbon. Chop the forests down, and they soak up less carbon. Burn that wood, and the stored carbon is released.

The Effect of Carbon Emissions

We're only now beginning to understand the impact of man-made climate change on our rainforests. Carbon emissions affect global climate, but they also affect the temperate climate of our rainforests as well. Some species fare better, and some worse. In other words, man-made global climate change affects the climate of our rainforests AND the climate of our rainforests affects man-made global climate change.

Current research also suggests that global warming may produce a reaction in ecosystems that increases temperatures even more than we can accurately predict. The concept is scientifically confusing, but think of it this way: When your bank account grows, you accrue greater interest. Consequently, your bank account grows even more--making it difficult to anticipate how large the balance could become or how long it would take to pay it off. The concept is called "positive feedback".

Scholars believe this positive feedback loop of climate change could eradicate up to 85% of our rainforests within the next century as a wave of carbon is released from lost ecosystems. On top of that, we have no idea how long it might take to reverse the damage. This means that the climate stability provided by our rainforests might soon be lost forever.

What Now?

So what do we need to do to protect our climate? Two very important actions must be taken. We must eliminate carbon emissions immediately because of how they affect flora in rainforests. But even more importantly, we need to stop chopping our rainforests down. When we do, we increase the impact of climate change exponentially.

Stopping short of either goal will result in a cascade effect. Temperatures will rise, causing a release of methane from our oceans. Seas will rise as the methane increases global temperatures even more, melting the icecaps. Seaside cities will be wiped out. Droughts will cause famine and force people to move to more favorable climates. All of this means an unfathomable economic impact.

It's time to take saving the rainforests seriously. Will you? By purchasing any product from TreePeace you make a small conscious effort to save the rainforest. A small portion from every sale goes to our friends at Cupio and their non-profit organization that helps save one square meter of rainforest. Together we can start making a difference.

 



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