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Source: iStock

The World Can’t Survive Without the Amazon: Here’s Why

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As you’ve likely heard by now, there are fires ravaging the Amazon rainforest; the current fires are so extreme, they can be seen from space. The record-breaking blaze is believed to be started by cattle farmers, as a way to illegally deforest land, and is unlike anything the region has seen before: This year alone, there have been more than 72,000 fires — an increase of more than 83 percent from January to August of the year prior. And these fires aren’t just a catastrophe for those living in and around the rainforest, the destruction of the Amazon would be a disaster for everyone who lives on Earth. 

The Amazon is called the “lungs of the Earth” and for good reason — around 20 percent of the planet’s oxygen originates in the Amazon. The vast rainforest also absorbs carbon dioxide and lowers the amount of greenhouse gases, therefore regulating global temperatures and, in effect, slowing the rate of climate change.