Image: Smoke billows from a fire burning in the Amazon basin near Candeias do Jamari, Brazil, on Aug. 24, 2019.

NBC News author, in his article, “Why is the Amazon rainforest important?”, gives a basic overview of what is causing deforestation in the rainforest and some of the potential impacts of losing it/benefits of having it.  The article cites man-made fires as a major reason for deforestation.  The Brazilian people want to utilize the Amazon land for agricultural purposes, oil, and mining, but these (and a few other rainforest industries) only make up a small portion of Brazil’s total GDP.  The article then goes on to describe the effects of deforestation on Brazil and the world.  First, the Amazon is the most biodiverse region in the world, so whole species, historic animal/plant records, and the ecosystem as a whole could collapse because of deforestation.  Also, the Amazon is one of the biggest carbon wells (places where carbon dioxide is stored), so without it, climate change could become irreversible.  Finally, the article cites huge economic consequences as the result of changing rain patterns affecting agriculture as well as the loss of biodiversity changing unspecified local economies.

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