Amazon Deforestation and Climate Change

 Gisele Bundchen and Brazilian climate scientist Antonio Nobre discuss the rain forest and the effects of deforestation from a tower overlooking the Amazon.  

 Nobre argues that the rainforest's trees transfer heat high into the atmosphere, cooling the globe and sustaining a diverse species.   

 Forests absorb and store CO2, which is released back into the atmosphere when trees are felled and burned.  

 Nobre worries that current deforestation levels will lead to calamity. The Amazon might dry out, destroying habitats and croplands.  

 See more of this story in the National Geographic Channel's Years of Living Dangerously episode “Fueling the Fire”.  

 One-quarter of Earth's CO2 is absorbed by the Amazon. The amount absorbed currently is 30% less than in the 1990s due to deforestation.  

 Cattle ranching increases deforestation.   

 Even though it's prohibited, removing land for cattle ranching can be profitable due to beef demand in China, the US, and other nations.   

 Protecting forest resources is difficult due to demand for pastureland and food crops like soybeans.  

 Deforestation is decreasing in several nations. Over the previous 15 years, South America, Southeast Asia, and China have reduced greenhouse gas emissions from forest deforestation by 25%.  

 Brazil's climate change reduction efforts are excellent. Over the past two decades, its CO2 emissions have declined more than any other nation.  

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