The Amazon: No longer in its prime

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The Amazon: No longer in its prime

Caqueta titi monkey purring monkey from the Amazon Rainforest

Caqueta titi monkey purring monkey from the Amazon Rainforest

Leamaimone is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Caqueta titi monkey purring monkey from the Amazon Rainforest

Leamaimone is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Leamaimone is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Caqueta titi monkey purring monkey from the Amazon Rainforest

Kennedy Ebberts, Staff Reporter

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The Amazon rainforest is home to over 40,000 plant species, 370 types of reptiles and a monkey that purrs like a cat. It has also been home to more than a thousand raging wildfires since January 2019. 

“I think it’s really disgusting, like really gross,” said a De Soto High School Environmental Council Member who wishes to remain anonymous. 

Unlike the organisms listed above, these fires are not naturally occurring, and many students in the DHS community feel very strongly about this issue.

“I think that they’re a direct result of deregulation,” said Environmental Council sponsor and science teacher Kylee Sharp. 

Recently, the Brazilian government has begun to regulate deforestation less and less. Much of the deforestation takes place so people can grow crops and raise livestock. The destruction of habitats has become somewhat of a free for all and, in doing so, has begun to negatively affect the environment.

“It’s going to be displacing a lot of organisms,” Sharp said, “In the tropics such as the [Amazon] rainforest habitat is already saturated with life.”

Many species could die out because of habitat loss and this could have dire effects on the environment, but this is not the only effect of deforestation from the fires.

“It’s putting a lot of particulate matter into the atmosphere,” Sharp said.

Particulate matter is the particles of smoke, ash and trees. Not only is it releasing the above particles, it also adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. According to Earthsky.org, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 414.7 parts per million concentration, which is the highest in human history. 

While some say the fires are having a disastrous effect, others disagree. In an August 2019 article for Livescience.com, Scott Denning, a professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, argued that the Amazon fires weren’t ruining Earth’s oxygen supply as many believe. 

There are many reasons to be appalled by this year’s Amazon fires, but depleting Earth’s oxygen supply is not one of them,” Denning wrote. 

Whether or not either statement is true, the Amazon has still depleted over 80 percent since 2004, and the current fires have greatly added to the destruction.

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