What's happening to your favorite tropical rainforest?

Tropical Rainforest

An understanding of the tropical rainforest is essential for ecological scientists everywhere. We have reason to believe it is vital.  The preservation of the tropical rain forest climate is an important part of the earth and for the survival of us all.

Earth scientists warn us that the trees in these forests emit a good part of the oxygen needed for the rest of us to breathe. Therefore, the health and future of the tropical areas are of fundamental interest to researchers and environmentalists alike.

Where are these forests and what are the climates like there? The rain forests are located around the world near the equator, including the islands of the Caribbean (like the one shown in these photos.)

Rainforest Village - Holetown Barbados

The largest area is in South America along the Amazon River, and there are sizable tracts of rain forest in central Africa and the Islands of Southeast Asia. In these regions, the rain falls nearly every day, and as much as 400 inches, about 10 metres, a year can drench the land below.

Grasslands also exist in tropical regions and have their own unique climate. A tropical savanna climate is characterized by a rainy season in which as much as 50 inches can fall within 6 months or less. The dry season, which lasts 5 months or more, will usually log less than four inches for the whole time.

Because of this extended dry period, the vegetation seen in these areas tends to consist of grass and small shrubby and bushes instead of tall trees with the thick undergrowth seen in wetter areas.

Tropical rainforests in the future...

Unfortunately, the typical tropical rainforest is disappearing. Rain forest deforestation refers to the shrinking of these powerful storehouses of oxygen producing plants. It has been estimated that the percentage of earth covered by rainforests has decreased from 14 percent to 6 percent over the years.

And that an acre and a half of rain forest is lost every second! Oops, there goes another.

Here's a comment we received from one concerned individual: Hi, it is my pleasure to write something in this blank. I am from the Northeast part of India and there is a state called Sikkim. It is known for its greenery. However when I went to Sikkim in the year 2004, the main thing which grabbed my attention is the deforestation in that area. All the big trees are down and no-one takes the initiative or any steps to flourish this greenery again. It's really painful. ~Rupam from India

Deforestation is happening because the trees are seen by corporations, local people, governments, and landowners as a readily-available cash crop. These regions, however, provide a lot more than just trees. The plants necessary to make many medicines grow in these areas, as do many other important plant and animal species.  They all depend on the rainforest biome and its trees.

The tropical rainforest is a fascinating part of ecology to study, with its huge variety of plants and animals. By examining the climate and characteristics of these regions, we gain a better understanding of their importance to the rest of the world and maybe we will put an end to these problems.

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The tropical rainforest

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