All of us are familiar with Tropical rainforests as Lungs of the world because of the large amount of oxygen they produce. But, a new study suggests that tropical forests are very much a global air conditioner because they store and absorb carbon dioxide from the air, and release fresh, and clean oxygen.
Planting and protecting trees that trap and absorb carbon dioxide as they grow helps remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Tropical forests are very efficient at keeping the Earth at a healthy temperature. Because they store large amounts of carbon and produce reflective clouds, they are especially good at keeping the planet cool.
But, the effectiveness and usefulness of tropical forests become more valued when it comes to the latitudes in which they stand. Because forests in snowy areas can warm the Earth rather than cool. Their dark canopy absorbs sunlight that would otherwise be reflected back to space.
Ken Caldeira of Carnegie’s Department of Global Ecology at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory finds that,
Tropical forests are like Earth’s air conditioner. When it comes to rehabilitating forests to fight global warming, carbon dioxide might be only half of the story; we also have to account for whether they help to reflect sunlight by producing clouds, or help to absorb it by shading snowy tundra.
Rainforests do play a key role in the global ecosystem because their dark depths absorb heat from the sun. Without the forest cover, these regions would reflect more heat into the atmosphere, warming the rest of the world. Losing the rainforests may also have a deep effect on global wind and rainfall patterns, resulting in droughts throughout the entire globe.
The rainforest houses 155,000 out of 225,000 plant species known in the world.
At least 42 million acres of tropical forest are lost each year, astounding 100 acres/minute. The act of deforestation itself affects the environment as a whole.
The world’s rainforest are an extremely valuable natural resource. They are the main cradle of life on Earth. They hold millions of unique life forms that we haven’t yet discovered. Destroying the rainforests equates destruction of an unknown planet. If deforestation continues at its current rate, the world’s tropical rainforests will be wiped out within 40 years.
We will be at a loss if we continue with the unmanly attitude of ours of cutting forests at a large scale. Tropical rainforests are life givers. It is not for nothing that the tropical forests are called Lungs of the world. We have to protect these carbon sinks at any cost, before we sink under global warming ourselves.