The planet earth is in serious jeopardy due to global warming. The polar ice caps are melting at an astonishing rate. Severe flooding and droughts are creating havoc around the world. All nations must begin to address, formulate, and implement the necessary solutions to reduce global warming before it becomes irreversible. Developed countries can drastically reduce the emission of green house gasses (GHG) which are destroying the ozone layer by reducing the destruction of rainforests, switching from electric generating power plants that are burning fossil fuels, to electricity generated by wind technology, and reducing the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from vehicles.
Rainforest once covered fourteen percent of the earth’s surface. Today this figure has shrunk to six percent. Approximately 1.5 acres of rain forests are lost every second throughout the world.
Rain forests play a fundamental role in local and global weather conditions through the absorption and creation of precipitation. A rainforest can generate as much as eighty percent of its own rainfall through transpiration. Each canopy tree in a rain forest can transpire as much as two hundred gallons of water per year; this equates to approximately twenty thousand gallons of water transpired into the atmosphere for each acre of canopy trees (“Structure”). Rain forests can receive anywhere from eighty to four hundred and thirty inches of rain in a year (“Structure”). These magnificent forests act as sponges absorbing precipitation and then later releasing it into the atmosphere. When forest cover is totally stripped, rain rapidly runs off the barren ground into streams creating massive flooding conditions down stream, devastating villages, cities and farmlands. The effects of deforestation in the Amazon region of South America can affect rainfall from Mexico to Texas and across the Gulf of Mexico. The felling of trees in Central Africa affects the rainfall in the upper and lower U.S. Midwest (“Climatic”).
Rain forests are known as the Lungs of the World because they absorb enormous amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The absorbed carbon dioxide is converted to oxygen through photosynthesis and then released into the atmosphere. Any unused carbon dioxide from the photosynthesis process is stored in the trunks of the trees for centuries (Connor). A total of two hundred and forty billion tons of carbon is contained in all the rainforests throughout the tropical countries (NASA). For a clearer perspective, the total amount of carbon released in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuel and land-use-changes amounts to ten billion tons annually (NASA).
Destruction of the rainforests by the “slash and burn” method contributes 1.5 billion metric tons of carbon into the earth’s atmosphere on an annual basis (Biello). Deforestation alone accounts for twenty percent of all global carbon emissions released into the atmosphere (NASA). When trees are felled and burned, the carbon...