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Rainforest Depletion

            Rainforest depletion is a matter concerning not only the furry little creatures and pretty little plants of said forests, but a matter concerning the entire population of our good Earth. Rainforests are believed by most to be invaluable to the survival of the human race. These vast forests provide oxygen, medicinal cures, clues to the origins of Earth, and myriad other secrets not yet known to man. In this essay I will outline the advantages and disadvantages of rainforest deforestation.
             Rainforests once sprawled across the globe. At one time, rainforests covered 14% of the earth's land surfaces. They now account for only 6% of the earth's land surface. Rainforests are being harvested at a rate of one and one-half acres per second. At this rate, scientists believe rainforests could be completely wiped out in a mere 40 years. Experts estimate a loss of 137 plant, animal and insect species everyday, a disturbing 50,000 species a year lost to deforestation. There are 121 prescription drugs made from rainforest-derived plants. 25% of all Western medicines are rainforest-derived. Of all the plants thriving in the forests, less than 1% of these have been tested medically. The Amazon Rainforest alone produces 20% of the oxygen we breathe. One-fifth of the world's fresh water is found in the Amazon Basin.
             Rainforests bio-diversity is awe-inspiring. According to scientific study, a single pond in Brazil can support a larger variety of fish than are found in all of the waters in Europe's rivers. A 25 acre plot in Borneo may contain over 700 different tree species, equal to the tree diversity in all of North America. A single rainforest reserve in Peru is home to more bird species than in the entire North American continent. A single tree in Peru was found to be home to more species of ants than are found on all of the British Isles. Less than 1% of the millions of plants species in rainforests have been studied for medical use.

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