The Amazon rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world which is considered to be "vital to
counter global warming”, covering an area of 5,500,000 km 2 (2,100,000 sq mi).
It represents over half of the planet's remaining rainforests, and comprises the largest and most
biodiverse tract of tropical rainforest in the world.
The rainforest has been in existence for at least 55 million years. The rain forest is known to have likely
formed during the Eocene era (from 56 million years to 33.9 million years ago). The rain forest has
thrived against any climate changes in these million years, allowing for the survival and evolution of a
broad diversity of species.
Human inhabitants first settled in the Amazon region at least 11,200 years ago, according to the
archaeological evidence from an excavation at Caverna da Pedra Pintada. It is believed that Amazon
rainforest has been shaped by man for at least 11,000 years through practices such as forest gardening
and terra preta (a very dark, fertile anthropogenic or artificial soil found in the Amazon Basin) with
evidences presented by the BBC's Unnatural Histories.
Today, the rainforest is home to one million indigenous people who are battling to thrive and save
rainforest despite there being threats from outsiders. Their lives are also in danger due to increase in
deforestation of Amazon rain forest.
One in ten known species in the world lives in the Amazon rainforest, constituting the largest collection
of living plants and animal species in the world. Amazon forest is perhaps the best environment for the
wildlife to thrive.
Although large portions of the Amazon rainforest are believed to be probably the result of centuries of human management rather than naturally occurring as has previously been supposed, currently the very human settlement and development of the land is causing deforestation in the Amazon.
A 2009 study found that a 4 °C rise (above pre-industrial levels) in global temperatures by 2100 would kill 85% of the Amazon rainforest while a temperature rise of 3 °C would kill some 75% of the Amazon.
Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest region was one of the main causes of the severe Drought of
2014-2015 in Brazil. It proves how it directly has a negative impact on local climate. This is because the
moisture from the forests is important to the rainfall in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina and half of the
rainfall in the Amazon area is produced by the forests.
Going by the reports, deforestation of the rainforest has hit its highest rate in a decade. Already 17%
deforestation has been reached in a period of just 50 years and the world is very near to facing
catastrophic consequences resulting from deforestation of the rainforest.
And reportedly the world’s climate system and the ecosystem will reach the “point of no return” if no
efforts are made to save the Amazon rainforest.
According to the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) reports, more than 75,000 wildfires
occurred in Brazil (60 percent of the Amazon rainforest is contained within Brazil’s borders) from
January to August 23, 2019, the highest number on records since 2013.
Scientists say that these wildfires caused in Amazon are not natural.
Deforestation of Amazon rainforest not only has impact on local region of Amazon and its neighbors, but
it is reportedly going to affect the climate of the world.
With an estimated 390 billion individual trees divided into 16,000 species, Amazon rainforest gives 20%
of the earth’s oxygen. Without the “lungs of the earth”, the increase in emission of greenhouse gases is
inevitable and the rapid global heating and climate change cannot be undone.