Alternatively known as the Lungs of the Earth, the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil ranks itself as one of the world’s largest rainforests and a popular tourist destination to unplug from city life and reconnect with nature.
Also, you might be astonished to know that the rainforest has such a vast landscape that even a combination of the Congo Basin and Indonesia cannot be contained within it.
Additionally, from lush greenery, diverse exotic wildlife, and colorfully decorated locals, Amazon offers you every unimaginable piece of a typical archetypal rainforest adventure you can ever get.
So, continue exploring this post, as there is something in it if you wish to travel or are just a reader curious about the world from your comfort zone!
1. Brazilian Amazon: News Forecasts
Now before delving into the expanse of this incredible Amazon Rainforest ecosystem, it’s best to keep yourself informed about what’s happening in Brazil. For that, here’s a quick news update about the Amazon in Brazil that runs down its recent events to help you stay connected to today’s world.
1.1 Wildfires: A Threat to Change the Rainforest into a Grassland
Studies released by Nature Communications Earth and Environment have stated that the potential tipping factor of the Rainforest can occur due to the role of the wildfire that locks the ecosystem to rejuvenate up to 86% depending on the climate change’s strength.
As the trees emit water into the atmosphere that moisturizes the land through rain and without them, the regions can become dry. So, click here to learn more about fire’s role in destroying the Rainforest!
1.2 The Columbian and Brazilian Presidents Come Together to Step Up the Protection of the Amazon
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Brazil’s President) and Gustavo Petro (Columbia’s President) came together on Saturday, July 8, 2023, to create momentum in the impeding regional summit on the Amazon by increasing the efforts to protect it.
The meeting occurred in Leticia, a Columbian town between Peru, Colombia, and Brazil, the triple border region of Amazon where organized crimes are at their peak.
The meeting laid the groundwork for the Amazon Summit Brazil organized in August at Belam. The final document consists of measures to sustainably develop Amazon, protect the biome, and promote science, technology, social inclusion, and innovation without neglecting Indigenous peoples and their wisdom. Read more here…
1.3 Deforestation Dips in Early 2023 to 34%, the Lowest in the 4 Recent Years
In the first half of 2023, there has been a 34% fall in Deforestation, according to Government reports, due to the stringent environmental policies implemented by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Brazil’s national space agency says that nearly 2649 sq km of the Amazon was cleared within the first half of the year, which is the lowest since 2019. The country is said to progress to 0% deforestation by 2030. Want to know how? Then check here!
1.4 A Study: Forest Loss Under the Four-Year Power of Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro
Within the four-year tenure of former President Bolsonaro, between 2019- 2022, the Brazilian Amazon was sabotaged for mining, farming, and cattle ranches, thereby losing 5 million acres of land.
Reports say that the weakened administration and regulation of deforestation could have skyrocketed these crimes that stretched up to the indigenous lands.
Nevertheless, the highest number rose to 15% between 2021 and 22, which the GFW report authors said: “lead to a ‘tipping point’ beyond which the majority of the ecosystem will become a savanna.”
However, with the dawn of the regime of President Lula da Silva, there was a history of success in reducing deforestation in the Rainforest in Brazil.
1.5 Amazon Rainforest Indigenous People are Vacating to Urban Poverty
Thousands of Indigenous peoples are flocking to the cities to pursue better education, job opportunities, etc. This departure of leaving remote forest villages has raised the concern that the world’s most enormous tropical rainforest would be unkempt and abandoned without its guardians.
Today Indigenous peoples of the Javari Valley and Matis have most of their population residing in cities. Take a look at what Tumi, an Indigenous boy, has to say here!
2. The Amazon Forest: Geographical Study
The Amazon is one of the renowned tropical rainforests that is found at the drainage basin of the Amazon River and its tributaries in the Northern part of South America. The land spans an area of 6,000,000 square km.
Occupying 40% of the total area of Brazil, the rainforest is bound by the Guiana Highlands (North), the Andes Mountains (West), the Atlantic Ocean (East), and the Brazilian Central Plateau (South).
Nevertheless, the Amazon River Basin, which hosts the tropical rainforest, is considered the largest river basin across the globe, with its forest stretching from the Atlantic Ocean (East) to the Ande’s Tree Line (West).
The width of the forest is 320 km along the Atlantic and 1900 km width at the Andean Foothills, exactly where the lowlands meet. So, this extensive rainforest prevails due to the significant rainfall, humidity, and monotonous temperatures throughout the region.
The best part is that the Amazon ecosystem has a rich biodiversity surpassing others worldwide. Interestingly, most of the Amazon Rainforest plants and animals are untouched and yet to undergo study as the place offers something new every day.
But as the Brazilian population increased, the size of the rainforest shrank considerably, especially during the years when Pres. Jair Bolsonaro took over Brazil.
But amidst the destruction of this rainforest that takes over half of the total rainforests in the world, numerous measures were taken to preserve and protect this gem.
And today, under the authority of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, there has been an improvement in the levels of conservation with stringent rules against prosecutors. And under his reign, Brazil hopes to make the Amazon region reach its initial glory by 2030.
Here’s an excellent video handpicked for you to feel the expanse of the forest visually: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhP5Tg_BLIk
3. Formation of the Amazon: A Historical Trail
It is said that the rainforest in Brazil existed since the Eocene era between 56 million years to 33.9 million years ago. Some studies state that the river flowing through the Amazon Forest initially had a westward flow or could have been a part of the proto-Congo River system from the interior of present Africa when the continents were together as part of Gondwana.
However, the rise of the Andes after the Nazca-South American plate collision 15 million years ago and the Bazilian-Guyana bedrock shields created the vast inland sea of Amazon.
This gradually turned into an enormous freshwater swampy lake that made marine animals adapt to the freshwater. You can find 20 stingray species near relatives to those in the Pacific Ocean located in the freshwater today.
Now, these waters made their way through the sandstone to the west, making Amazon flow to the east. This resulted in the birth of the Amazon Forest, and during the Ice Age, the sea levels dropped and drained, which turned the Amazon Lake into a river.
Finally, after the exposure to the Central American isthmus, the oceans receded, allowing mammal species to migrate between America. Also, the Ice Age caused the global tropical forests to retreat.
But this phenomenon is highly debated, yet it is believed that most of the Amazon has been scattered as savanna and montane forest. The savanna separated the rainforest as patches into islands that included species with genetic differentiations.
Finally, the forests rejoined, and the species that were once together became distinct to be categorized as separate species, resulting in the addition of diversity in the Amazon at the end of the Ice Age.
Subsequently, around 600 years ago, the sea level rose to 130 meters again, inundating the river into a gigantic, long freshwater lake.
Later it was the arrival of the human population that etched the biodiversity of the Amazon, and that’s an extensive history you can check out here!
4. What Country is the Amazon Rainforest in?
When you explore the depths of the Amazon, you might always ponder whether the Amazon is genuinely a part of Brazil alone for its enormous landscape that stretches from the Atlantic to the Andes.
Well, you have answers here that Amazon is not a part of Brazil alone—instead, it shares its land with a few other countries surrounding it. Some include Guyana, French Guyana, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, Peru, Suriname, and Colombia.
However, the majority is shared with Brazil. The following discusses some top countries that share most of the Rainforest;
This place tops the list as 64% of the Amazon gets covered here. This part of the rainforest, also known as the Brazilian Amazon, is at the heart of Brazil, with numerous species of flora and fauna. And this is where the protection network began in 2000 to eradicate deforestation.
Taking up to 10% of Peru’s land cover, this part of the Amazon Rainforest is home to the famous blue and yellow macaw. And this ranks second after the Brazilian rainforest.
Also, apart from the animal species that thrive here, the place is notable for its rich plant life. And to protect illegal logging and protect the rainforest, the Forestry and Wildlife Law was amended in 2000.
Here the rainforest spans an area of 6% in Columbia of up to 155,599.17 sq miles east in the Venezuelan and Brazilian border. This rainforest is home to birds apart from the diverse flora and fauna.
And there are protective measures implemented here to protect from deforestation and other damages.
Sharing 6% of the Amazon that spans up to 229,985 sq miles, this part of the rainforest is famous for amphibians and reptiles. And also, a place for excessive deforestation. Hence the Certified Forest Sector of Bolivia has implemented laws to plant trees in deforested areas.
You can check here to know how the rest of the countries are ranked in sharing the Rainforest.
5. Why is the Amazon Rainforest Important? 5 Ground-Breaking Reasons
No wonder you might like to know that, in short, the Amazon Forest makes us who we are today. It’s the primary and predominant factor in climate change. But unfortunately, they are dwindling today due to deforestation and wildfires, leaving the whole world under threat!
So, here’s why the rainforest is the most important and the only solution to sustain life on the planet;
5.1 The Abundance of Animals
From mammals to reptiles, insects, birds, fishes, and amphibians, the Amazon is vital as it is home to 10% of the species worldwide, as stated by the World Wildlife Fund.
And these animals are a critical source of sustenance to the forest in terms of fertilizers through their remains and food scraps. These leech into the forest floor to influx nutrients into the soil and store carbon without releasing it into the atmosphere.
5.2 The Wide Plant-Life
The rainforest nurtures thousands of plant species that offer food and material things. Even your favorite chocolate comes from here, along with many other ingredients that complete your favorite dish! Interestingly, latex too is extracted here and is a source of income for the indigenous communities thriving here.
5.3 The Rich River in Amazon
Ranked second place for the longest river in the world next to the Nile, the river flowing thorough Amazon and the wetlands surrounding it offer rich biodiversity. Also, the river is home to numerous water animals and endangered species that exceed over 50% of the tree species counting.
5.4 Carbon and Oxygen Cycles
Did you know? The Amazon Forest regulates the carbon and oxygen cycle of the world! It acts as a carbon sink absorbing most of the carbon dioxide from the air. This is nullified if the trees are logged, and the forests are burnt.
However, scientists say conserving its status as a carbon sink is possible if the more significant parts of the ecosystem are saved.
5.5 You can be healed!
No wonder, with such a diverse variety of plants out there, it’s evident that they have medicinal properties to cure diseases. Nevertheless, most of them are yet to be discovered. For instance, the Indigenous group Yanomamo and other tribal groups have learned how to tap medicines from plants.
The knowledge is stored by a medicine man, otherwise known as the shaman, and gets transferred to the apprentice for generations. And this has become an integral part of establishing their identity.
Hence with the rapid degradation of the rainforest, there is a threat to future generations to benefit from this knowledge.
6. Unheard Amazon Rainforest Facts
With such a mighty cluster of rainforests and a chain-like river flowing in the middle, the Amazon is the king that rules the rest of the ecosystems around the world. Want to know how? Then keep reading!
1. The river that flows through Amazon is a prime factor in altering the Caribbean Sea. This is done once when the Caribbean current picks up the water from the river mouth and drains it into the Caribbean islands. And studies show that the sea level has risen 3 cm higher due to this contribution.
2. It is home to the 18-million-year-old pink river dolphin, endangered today due to human interference. These unique species thrive only in freshwater habitats and are ranked as one of the four actual river dolphins.
3. The name of the Amazon Rainforest comes from Greek mythology, referring to a group of nomadic female warriors roaming the Black Sea. And Francisco de Orellana, the first European voyager, gave this name after the battle with the Icamiabas (women without husbands) and likening them to the Greek Mythology Amazons.
4. Due to the seasonal changes, no bridges are built on the river banks of Amazon. And boats were used for transportation instead of taking a long foot around.
5. In the denser parts of the forest, the floors are entirely black! Only a minute percent of the sunlight shafts through the lush vegetation.
6. Africa is a prime continent to keep alive the rainforest because the dust and fertilizing phosphorous picked up from the Sahara Desert are blown over by the Atlantic before settling on the Amazon, satellite imagery from 2015 NASA said.
7. Martin Strel was the first to complete swimming across the entire stretch of the river for 66 days, swimming 10 hours daily in 2007!
8. About 137 species are becoming extinct with the deforestation of 1.5 acres of rainforest every second.
And the facts go on. So, keep yourself updated here!
7. Wrap up
The Amazon Rainforest is a unique ecosystem that houses the unimaginable flora and fauna you must see and experience. Also, it plays an invaluable role in sustaining life on Earth. And today, it is under three significant threats: Deforestation, Wildfire, and Global Warming. So, if you plan to take a trip out there, follow the rules, as your discipline matters a lot to save the depleting natural wonder!
Before you go, follow the rest of our articles here to gain insightful information to keep pace with today’s world. See you soon!