They are beautiful, green and can make or break the health of our planet. We are talking about rainforests, the hubs of life on Earth. The natural rainforest – which can be found around the Equator area – emits and absorbs vast quantities of carbon dioxide, producing almost half of the oxygen we have in the world. They matter, on global and local scales, but they are being attacked by the human greed, direct or indirectly. Today, no forest can be considered unaltered, since the actions of man have been causing deforestation for several years.
And the worst is yet to come, as some climate models predict a large loss of rainforest around 2050 due to drought, the death of the forest and the subsequent release of more carbon dioxide. This means that, in five million years, the Amazon forest might be dead and have turned into a savannah, all thanks to the “progress of humanity”. At this point, the descendants of our known animals may adapt to the dry savannah and even thrive in the new temperatures. That is a sad perspective, especially when there’s still so much to know about rainforests.
And let’s not forget about the people who live in these places. There are 30 million people living just in the Amazon rainforest. In 2007, an official institution reported that it had confirmed the presence of 67 different tribes in Brazil which hadn’t had true contact with civilization yet. With this new number, Brazil has overtaken the island of New Guinea as the country with the largest number of isolated tribes. And then there’s also the most curious rainforest tribe we can think about: the Mbuti pygmies, one of the hunter-gatherer peoples living in equatorial forests characterized by their short height of just five feet. The rainforests are just an amazing place to know more about, so don’t waste any more time. Dig in!
Infographic Credit: Girrafe.ie